Bleed The Sky - Paradigm In Entropy - Nuclear Blast  2005
10 Songs
Running Time: 40:55 

Matt DeVries of Chimaira likes Bleed The Sky. Alot. Big surprise, as Bleed The Sky sounds like Chimaira. Alot. Thankfully, there aren't many bands that can convincingly do what the Chimaira of today is doing, layering dense sonic textures under cover of semi-mechanized credible metal. The question then remains; do Bleed The Sky merely ape the Cleveland sextet's sound, or are these young upstarts intent on carving out their own niche?

The first thing apparent once opener "Minion" kicks in is Noah Robinson's vocals, which - while holding much in common with Chimaira's Mark Hunter in phrasing - have almost a neo-black delivery, and are the first step away from the shadow of Strongsville, OH's favourite sons. The song grooves well enough, but in their search for dynamics, the band has added token melodic sections, and frankly, Robinson doesn't have the voice for that. When he sticks to howling like a mountain lion being branded ("Killtank"), he's damn good. Of course in nearly every song, the choruses mar the metal due to failed attempts at inserting melody. The band itself is skilled, dual guitars of Moorman and Miller steering clear of that ten-second piss poor homage to Maiden that plague so many bands of this ilk, and focusing on power over finesse, which is beneficial. Refreshingly free of harmony vox is the title track, which leads me to believe that were it entirely up to them, the material crafted by Bleed The Sky would exude substantially more heaviness. The presence of Luke Anderson (credited as "Samples & Sequencing") frightened me at first, but his role in BTS isn't so overbearing as I'd imagined it to be. He adds texture without becoming cumbersome, shading the songs tastefully. "Skin Un Skin" finds the melodic sections not near as "blah" as before, D'Amond and Elsey - drums and bass respectively - turning out to be quite formidable as a rhythm section. The menacing stomp of "Leverage" is riddled with double-kick in the verses, Robinson's screech (when it shows up) being particularly hostile. A word on the more melodic parts; my complaint is neither in the arrangement, nor in their existence, but that they simply aren't laid out in such a way as to be memorable. Sometimes, though, the blending works, as in "The Martyr", crushing chords and ethereal moods calling to mind certain Deftones tracks. With an album like this, it was of huge importance that BTS end things on a good note, and so they do, with the slicing, angular cyber-metal of "Borelia Mass".

In the end, while the similarities with Chimaira abound, Bleed The Sky do enough to distance themselves from blatant comparisons or mimicry. Not a bad first showing from a band that, given another album or two and some time on the road with a decent tour package, could turn into something. Passion bleeds (pun intended) from this band, and their live show's probably pretty fucking killer to boot.

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