Sound — 8
"Empire" is the second album by Glasgow metal band Bleed From Within. Their previous effort "Humanity" was labelled by some under variety of styles such as deathcore, melodic death metal and metalcore, and it is fair to say that "Empire" is primarily a death metal album. The band have built up quite a significant fan base in the last couple of years and deservedly so. Their sound is particularly heavy but some melody creeps in now and again, as the band clearly know when to bring in some lighter moments. BFW name Pantera and Lamb Of God as two of their influences and there is definitely is definitely a Pantera-esque groove with some of the guitar work. Opening track "This Is Our Legacy" comes in strongly and sets the tone for the album, some catchy riffing and powerful vocals start proceedings off well. 3rd track "Last Of Our Kind" starts with an excellent riff before leading into a fast paced verse which displays the skills of vocalist Scott Kennedy very well. The thrashy "Vanity" (the intro sounds as if it was practically written for a wall of death!) and lead track "The Healing" both display great guitar work, with the tapped section of "The Healing" being a highlight within the entire album. The drum work is also notable and drummer Ali Richardson brings a capable backbone to the sound with frequent blastbeats and strong rythmns being employed.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics cover a variety of topics, most of which are from personal experience, according to the band. Second song "The Novelist" was written as a response to critics of the band, whilst "The Healing" deals with some kind of betrayal or perhaps a breakup. Vocalist Scott Kennedy has an extremely powerful voice, particularly with his use of low growls which are employed throughout much of the album. His higher pitched screaming is also very good, and these two styles combined add to the heaviness and intensity of the record.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I feel "Empire" is a definite improvements upon their last effort, and I'm certainly intrigued to see what the band do next. "Last Of Our Kind", "The Healing", and "Vanity" would have to be my top 3 songs, however every song is good. The only criticism I could suggest is that the quality starts to tail of slightly in the middle section of the album, however is regained towards the end. So overall, an album well worth checking out if you are into most styles of modern metal.