"Silent Treatment" (Vagrant; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

The Bled has always been pegged as a tweener-type band and their third effort, "Silent Treatment," does nothing but reinforce that respect, as the Arizona quintet's latest 11-track disc provides the widest realm of dynamics heard by this band yet. 

The restrained sense of chaos adds a trace of suspense to this release, yielding tremendous amounts of tension usually reserved for bands like Dredg and Thrice. Tracks like "Asleep on the Frontline," where a spacey instrumental intro slowly morphs into a chorus that hurls out the ruthless aggression that every good screamo metal anthem contains, are among the examples of this act's intricately explosive songwriting. 

Not bashful about combining vicious breakdowns and melodic choruses, tracks like "Threes Away" and "The Silver Lining" redefine the formula for the new generation to blend their emotions to, while tracks like "Breathing Room Barricade" give the band a chance to get etherally aware before grounding themselves via lumbering harmonic powerchords and jaggedly heavy movements that go for the jugular. 

Add in a powerhouse rhythm section that works overtime, twin guitar work that both bedazzles and bludgeons and a rich vocal performance by James Munoz and you have The Bled's most ambitious and cohesive release to date ready at your dispose to decimate at your leisure.

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"Pass the Flask" (Fiddler; 2003)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Okay, so I like screaming vocals in my heavy metal as well as the next guy. But when the vocalist is screaming so loudly and quickly that all of the lyrics blend together in what sounds like one huge, multi-syllabled word, what's the frigging point?

The vocals of The Bled blast forward from this CD so chaotically and with such screeching volume that I actually had to get up and turn it off. That doesn't happen very often (in fact, I believe this is the first time). The band's music is good, fast, tight and aggressive, but I understood more of the lyrics to the all-German Rammstein songs than I did here.

The name of this CD is "Pass The Flask" and someone would have to pass me something to get me past these vocals. 

The music alone deserves better than a one-chainsaw rating, but the vocals are so obnoxious that I've got to take away a point. Seriously, guys, take it down a step or two. I realize that this album is all about rage, but what's the point if someone doesn't know what you're angry about?

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Feb 2019 21:42:45 -0500.