Internal Bleeding – Imperium (Unique Leader)Tuesday, 9th September 2014
Long-time slam originators Internal Bleeding have often seemed to get a bum rap. Listening to their first two albums (1995’s Voracious Contempt and 1997’s The Extinction of Malevolence), the production, even for the time, just wasn’t there. You could always tell there was something going on underneath the surface, but unfortunately many decided that perhaps their time was better spent elsewhere. Imperium finally fixes that problem, as well as serving as the band’s first new material since 2004’s Onward to Mecca.
Often neglected, like their peers Pyrexia, Internal Bleeding bring slamming NY-style death metal that caters to fans of Suffocation and their ilk. What keeps Internal Bleeding well above the majority of their peers (again, like Pyrexia) is the fact that they actually write songs around their slams instead of tossing together a number of “brutal slamz” and calling it good. Songs have dynamics and frequently change pace throughout the course of one track. There’s even a 3-part song entitled “Patterns of Force.” When the slams come, they hit hard. The thick, meaty production pushes the guitars and truth be told, some of the mid-tempo chugging hits just as hard as the band’s patented slamming. Also avoiding the slamming death metal trappings is vocalist Keith DeVito (also responsible for Pyrexia’s underrated System of the Animal and hatredangeranddisgust…truly, no more Pyrexia analogies, but the two bands are pretty intertwined). DeVito’s more hardcore-tinged vocals keep things from becoming gurgle-fest and help to drive the music forward.
After all these years, it’s nice to see Internal Bleeding finally catch a break. Imperium is a massive slab of slamming death metal, but done with some actual intellect. Time changes, solos, who knew these could all be accomplished within the slam playbook? Ahh, that’s right, these guys are the ones that originally wrote that book.