Acclaimed modern metal outfit BLEED FROM WITHIN are putting the past behind them and positing an overhauled frame of mind on their new album, “Fracture”. A recent statement from the Glaswegians aimed to reshape the band's heretofore struggles: "The doubt and fear that consumed us for years have been replaced with an insatiable hunger to grow as people. We've noticed this shift in energy and channeled it into our music. As a result, our new album is the strongest and most uplifting we have ever written." BLEED FROM WITHIN embodied that statement during the writing and completion of early video single, “The End of All We Know.” For it was this very track that served as a lighthouse for the rest of “Fracture”.
“We have been very vocal about our past as a band," drummer Ali Richardson says. “But there are still a lot that people will never understand our past. Instead of dwelling on our past any longer, we used this song as a way to say goodbye to what has been and look to forward to what can be. It was an incredibly cathartic release, and the response has been truly staggering. We used this inspiration and positivity to finish the album."
What the band learned from the endless touring for the “Era” album—with luminaries like Lamb Of God, Of Mice And Men, As I Lay Dying, Cancer Bats, and Any Given Day—couldn’t have had a more profound effect on how BLEED FROM WITHIN would continue on (and overcome) with the completion of “Fracture”. The lineup has stabilized, and the band has, in effect, become a democracy, where unity is the driving force on all decisions, from internal (songwriting, lyrics, and bassist Davie Provan’s stunning artwork) to external (tours, administrative). For the first time in the band’s history, the membership of the previous album (“Era”) is represented on the follow-up (“Fracture”). The approach, however, was the same. Experimentation with vocals, tempo, grooves, and melodies, however, helped inform how the songs would ultimately play out. That said, “Fracture” wasn’t so straight forward and undemanding.
“Songwriting is a truly laborious process,” says Richardson. “We have never worked with a producer, so we learned to produce ourselves over time by recognizing mistakes within our material. Every album is a massive learning curve, and ‘Fracture’ was no different. Songs can start with a drum beat, a riff, a lead part, or a vocal melody, and we'll develop from there. The vocal sessions were particularly stressful. Kennedy had a very strong vision of what he wanted to achieve. Each member had very high expectations after ‘Era’. We knew the bar had to be raised, and we didn't let each other forget it. We are one of the few bands I know that everyone has a say in the writing process.”
The gap between “Era” and “Fracture” is colossal, in fact. While BLEED FROM WITHIN were focused on maintaining their signature, they were also all-too-eager to extend creatively beyond it. Certainly, the "The End of All We Know” declaration read: they wanted to grow as musicians, songwriters, and as a unit. That's precisely what they did on “Fracture”. From “The End of All We Know” and “Fall Away” to “Into Nothing” and “A Depth That No One Dares,” BLEED FROM WITHIN blended the top qualities of thrash, death, and groove metals to form a varied dynamic that is aggressive and heavy as well as anthemic and melodic. “Fracture” is a complete statement, resplendent in fortitude and definitive in conviction. Fans and critics alike need only experience the album's title track to hear how far BLEED FROM WITHIN have ventured.
“We approached this album as we always do,” Richardson says. “We just had a large amount of experience following the release of ‘Era’. We wanted to experiment more with melodies within the vocals and work on newfound tempos or grooves that would help break up the tracks. The songwriting has improved massively once again. I think the newfound musicality adds something powerful to our overall sound. Songs like 'Fracture' and 'A Depth That No One Dares' have pushed us creatively and provided a unique dynamic to the album as a whole. But all of the songs have immense value to us. Each one is a stamp in time, written at some point over the last two years. A riff, beat, or vocal hook takes us back to that point in time and the struggles we faced as the song was being constructed. It’s a rare occasion that a song just ‘works.’ Each track means a lot to us for the time it took to write.”
The album title, “Fracture”, may appear to have a negative connotation, but like “The End of All We Know,” it serves a constructive purpose. The very definition of ‘fracture’ is a ‘break,’ ‘breach,’ or ‘split.’ BLEED FROM WITHIN are fracturing their relationship with “bad old days.” “Fracture” and the songs contained within are liberation vehicles; the album is ten ways BLEED FROM WITHIN are opening new doors.
“We spent years dwelling on our negative past,” says Richardson. “[We’ve been] unable to break free from the frustrations of people holding us back. ‘Fracture’ is a reference to breaking away from the negative, leaving a poisonous past behind us. On this album, we've looked at emotions that we've felt as a group and used the songs as a vessel to move on. There is a degree of honesty that we haven’t really reached before. This album tells the story of the darkest moments, and our brightest in recent times.”
Like “Era”, BLEED FROM WITHIN recorded “Fracture” at the band’s rehearsal/studio space in Glasgow and with Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood at Middle Farm Studios in South Devon. From the start (setting up) to the finish (everything recorded), the process of tracking “Fracture” required four months of total time. The drums were nailed down with Getgood over two sessions—eight days overall—while the guitars and vocals occupied most of the band and engineers' time over the remaining months at BLEED FROM WITHIN’s rehearsal/studio compound.
“We recorded the drums in Middle Farm Studios with Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood,” Richardson says. “We had one session in August 2019, and another in January 2020 so we could go away and work on the rest of the tracks. Guitars and vocals were recorded at our studio in Glasgow, engineered by our own Steven Jones. Mixing was handled by ‘Nolly’ again, and we returned to Ermin Hamidovic for mastering. It’s the same set up as ‘Era’. A team that we trust to deliver the sound in our heads. It was a pleasure watching it all come together.”
The new era in BLEED FROM WITHIN will be filled with new experiences, chances to learn, and extensive touring. “Fracture” will be their method of getting there. The band’s fans have been tireless in their support, so the two years of waiting for songs like “The End of All We Know,” “Pathfinder,” “Fall Away,” “Night Crossing,” (featuring a guest solo by Matt Heafy) and “Utopia” has been worth it. But BLEED FROM WITHIN are also exciting to premiere and show how they’ve matured in songs like “Into Nothing,” “A Depth That No One Dares,” and, of course, the title track.
“Our fans have proved themselves to be a massive part of what we do,” says Richardson. “The sense of community we are beginning to feel at our shows is infectious. You are the only reason we are able to continue as a band, and without you, we are literally nothing. Thank you for your support. Hopefully, you can make it out to a show as we begin touring this album. We're ready for you.”