Bleeding Through - This is Love, This is Murderous (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Bleeding Through

This is Love, This is Murderous (2003)


I have no idea how to classify music anymore.

To be honest, using terms like "metalcore","hardcore" and "indie" is pure journalistic laziness. I know it, but I do it because it gives people a useful jumping off point. It's difficult to start with the bare bones of music and try to explain what it sounds like to someone who has never heard it, so I use the crutch, and I am unapologetic.

In this case, This is Love, This is Murderous definitely could be broken up into some sort of hybrid of those genre terms. I could definitely allude to it's metal leanings, and it's hardcore centre, and I suppose I just did. It might be useful to also mention some similar or influential artists. The most obvious of which are label mates' Eighteen Visions, who perfected, in my mind, the "hardcore kids playing metal" sound on The Best Of.

And, of course, the vocal styling of Brandan Schieppati definitely bring to mind a the stylistic leanings of James Hart (Eighteen Visions) with his multi-faceted shriek, growl and singing which are employed in unequal measure throughout the twelve songs that make up This Is Love.... It's not entirely surprising that there is such a prevalent Eighteen Visions influence, what with their lineage tracing back to the aforementioned band as well as straight-edge stalwarts Throwdown.

Of course, since I don't want to spend this review juxtaposing the band against their peers, I'll try and explain what stands out from the rest of the increasingly crowded heavy music space. The most striking and differentiating being the spooky keyboards which provide atmospherics for each of the tracks. I know "spooky" sounds like a goofy word in this context, but frankly, that is precisely what the keys add to the material. They rarely carry the melody or the rhythm of the song but nicely flush out the big, thick sound of the band.

Even though the band clearly comes from a background in the hardcore scene, and other than the vocals and lyrics, this is pretty straight-forward metal fare. The strong European influence, complete with dueling, shredding guitars borrowed gently from At The Gates/In Flames playbook, and a strong emphasis on guttural, death-metal style growls.

In many ways, the artwork sums up the band very appropriately; the image of a large knife stuck through a heart is romantically violent, dark and just a little cartoonish and so is Bleeding Through. This record will probably not revolutionize heavy music, nor will it gently introduce metalcore to the nay sayers, but it is an enjoyable, cathartic release.