The melodic black metalcore churned out by Orange County sextet Bleeding Through once sounded fresh and unique. Sadly, in a world of Winds of Plagues and Abigail Williams, that is no longer the case on album No. 7, The Great Fire. The record is filled with 14 short tracks that reconfirms the band’s occasionally powerful fusion of hardcore aggression and metallic evilness. As they have in the past, the symphonic atmospherics provided by keyboardist Marta liven up many of the songs, which would otherwise sound like unoriginal chuggy metalcore. In fact, the album’s best moments come when melody and aggression collide head on, like on “The Devil and Self Doubt” and “Trail of Seclusion.” Overall, however, there is little evidence here that the band is trying anything different than what’s worked for them before. While this will probably please Bleeding Through's fans, sticking with the path most traveled doesn't result in a particularly memorable record. DAVID McKENNA
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