Bleeding Through makes melodic, postmodern metal, taking what it needs from formerly discrete subgenres (shredding thrash guitar, gothic keyboards, black metal blast beats) and churning it all together behind vocalist Brandon Schieppati, whose bellow gets the dudes moshing when his angsty croon isn't driving the girls wild. Avenged Sevenfold plows similar ground, but with greater stylistic ambition and more raw talent, especially from the guitarists.
"Kill to Believe," the first single from Bleeding Through's new album (which bears the unsubtle title The Truth), has one great guitar riff lost amid a flurry of breakdowns and choruses, and a distracting hick-horror video. Meanwhile, the band's lyrics are as overwrought and love-obsessed as '50s teenage music. "Line in the Sand," their first power ballad (though it surely won't be their last), could have been sung by anyone from Frankie Lymon to Joy Division's Ian Curtis. But Bleeding Through has conviction -- the band is utterly certain of its own seriousness, originality, and importance to today's youth. That, plus energy, which they've also got, will carry a band far.