Murder the Dance

by: Bleed the Sky

Most people in the arts who move from Oklahoma to Southern California end up staying in So-Cal permanently. The late jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, an Oklahoma native, made Los Angeles his new home and never looked back; veteran R&B critic Steven Ivory, originally from Oklahoma City, moved to L.A. in the 1970s and stayed there. But there are exceptions to that rule, including Bleed the Sky, who moved from Oklahoma City to Orange County, CA, in 2005 but returned to Oklahoma City in 2007 -- the year in which they recorded Murder the Dance. Bleed the Sky have had their share of lineup changes, and on this 63-minute CD, the lineup consists of Noah Robinson on lead vocals, Justin Warrick and Rob Thornton on guitar, Ryan Clark on bass, and Austin D'Amond on drums; Robinson and D'Amond are the only ones remaining from Bleed the Sky's original 2003 lineup. Stylistically, there is only one word to describe Murder the Dance: metalcore. That means plenty of breakdowns, vicious bombast, angry lyrics, and Robinson offering the type of throat-shredding, tortured screaming that metalcore is known for. Occasionally, there are some cleans vocals, but not to the point of pushing Murder the Dance into screamo territory; the vast majority of the vocals are extreme vocals rather than clean vocals. So metalcore purists shouldn't have a problem with this 63-minute CD -- at least not a stylistic problem. The disc's greatest shortcoming is the fact that the material is unremarkable. Murder the Dance isn't a bad album or an incompetent album, but tracks like "The Sleeping Beauty" and "Knife Fight in a Phone Booth" simply aren't very memorable -- and there is little that makes Bleed the Sky stand out in the ultra-crowded metalcore/hardcore field. ~ Alex Henderson

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