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The Bled has always been pegged as a tweener-type band and their third effort SILENT TREATMENT does nothing but reinforce that respect, as the Arizona quintet's latest 11-track disc provides the widest realm of dynamics heard by this band yet. The restrained sense of chaos adds a trace of suspense to this release, yielding tremendous amounts of tension usually reserved for bands like Dredg and Thrice. Tracks like "Asleep on the Frontline", where a spacey instrumental intro slowly morphs into a chorus that hurls out the ruthless aggression that every good screamo metal anthem contains, are among the examples of this act's intricately explosive songwriting. Not bashful about combining vicious breakdowns and melodic choruses, tracks like "Threes Away" and "The Silver Lining" redefine the formula for the new generation to blend their emotions to, while tracks like "Breathing Room Barricade" give the band a chance to get etherally aware before grounding themselves via lumbering harmonic powerchords and jaggedly heavy movements that go for the jugular. Add in a powerhouse rhythm section that works overtime, twin guitar work that both bedazzles and bludgeons and a rich vocal performance by James Munoz and you have The Bled's most ambitious and cohesive release to date ready at your dispose to decimate at your leisure.
- Mike SOS