Metal act Bled to Submission has been kicking around the local scene for a bit, with 2017 being their breakout year. The band embarked on its first tour recently, played some higher-profile gigs and recorded and released its debut album, Only a Light Remains, via Wood and Stone Productions.
The band has seen multiple lineups with a varying number of members but recently slimmed down to a mean-and-lean four-piece consisting of Jody Lester (vocals/synth), Isaiah Rodriguez (guitar/noise), Harrison Hunt (bass/vocals) and Brian Laws (drums).
This seven-track debut is all about being sludgy, grimy and experimental. If you’re into grindcore, doom metal, sludge metal, stoner metal or anything remotely close to those genres, Only a Light Remains is for you. There’s something to pull out of here for just about any kind of metalhead.
The album opener, “Terror Eclipsed,” showcases this variety most potently. Some jarring white noise hisses as the song begins, and then a grim and heavy riff emerges from the aural fog. However, before you can get too comfortable, a flurry of screams and noise hits in tandem with a majorly upped tempo. Things settle back down, but the stage is set for the type of ride that is Only a Light Remains.
Abrupt stylistic changes are at the forefront of the album, whether it’s a tempo change or break as mentioned above, or one of the several segues into harsh noise—most notably on the transition from “Prisoner 8612” to “Lucidity.” These sections add a bit of a welcome palate-cleanser effect to what is otherwise a very pummeling and brutal listening experience.
With that being said, there’s not much to find here for the listener seeking typical melodies, intelligible lyrics and cohesiveness. In any case, that’s not really necessary for this album to succeed. Metal fans looking for a heavy gut-punch of sludge will dig the sonic variety at play here, but casual music fans may not be prepared to tackle this beast of a debut.
Bled to Submission’s Only a Light Remains is available digitally on Bandcamp. CD and cassette copies can be purchased through Wood and Stone Productions’ official site.