Usually, when a band goes through any severe lineup change, their sound gets compromised, and they barely resemble the same band that you fell in love with. The Bled lost three members since releasing their previous record, Silent Treatment, but fortunately for them, the lineup change seemed to do them good. Silent Treatment showed the band at a difficult spot in their career; the album just didn’t work. It didn’t match the craziness of Pass the Flask, and the experimentation wasn’t as successful as it was on Found in the Flood. It seems that the lineup change was due, and now The Bled seem to be back on the right track.
The album starts off with the scorcher “Devolver”, and it shows that the band is tighter than they’ve ever been. The song allows new drummer Josh Skeebar show off his skills. While the band’s former drummer Mike Pedicone was a sufficient skinsman, Skeebar raises the bar in every aspect. His beats are technical without being flashy, and his fills are top notch.
The first single “Smoke Breaks” is one of the heaviest songs that the band has ever put out. Once again, Skeebar shines on this track, using tricky rhythms that show that he is leagues past his peers. Vocalist, James Munoz shows off his beasty side on this track, and it makes me wonder what he is really capable off.
Like “Antarctica” and “Asleep on the Frontlines” from the band’s earlier albums, “Meet Me in the Bone Orchard” shows off the band’s experimental side. While it’s more aggressive than the past previously mentioned songs, it still shows that the band is still trying to push boundaries. This is a personal favorite of mine on this album, and it wouldn’t seem out of place on Found in the Flood, the band’s most experimental record.
“Night Errors” starts off with spastic guitars that the band is known for, only more chaotic. At about 2 ½ minutes long, the song is a short burst of chaos before the atmospheric closer “Crawling Home”. The album ends with about a minute of droning noises that fade out, and it seems appropriate to end an extremely noisy record with more noise, doesn’t it?
This album is extremely solid, especially after the disappointing Silent Treatment, and it especially noteworthy because of the personnel changes that the band has gone through. This records isn’t going in any new territory for the band, but what they are doing, they’re doing just right.