Driven to Conquer (Pavement)
by Tim Den
When you think of leaders in the death metal genre, you don’t really think of Internal Bleeding. That’s because the band’s previous efforts, Voracious Contempt and The Extinction of Benevolence, were only copycat albums that tried to match the big names in heaviness, not songwriting. It didn’t work, obviously, and what was left was muddy music set to burping growls. All the songs ran together, and nothing set them apart from the average Tampa long hairs.
With Driven to Conquer, the band seems smarter in their approach. Lessening the “everything’s gotta be death metal: lyrics, vocals, and artwork” mentality and adding a healthy does of clarity, Internal Bleeding is learning the “catchier is better” trick. Gone are the grotesque imagery (in physical and lyrical form) and the dog barks, and in their place, sharp riffing and powerhouse grunts. Memorable, brutal songs with elbow-swinging breakdowns ensure that both headbangers and hardcore cool-guys will love this. A well-thought out progression for the better and a sign of future promise.
(PO Box 50550 Phoenix, AZ 85076)