The Bled – Heat Fetish
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Record Label: Rise
You might need to shed some layers. In fact, crack open a few windows, you’re gonna need all the cool air you can get. Hell, maybe even invest in a flame-retardant suit, because The Bled’s new fire bomb of an album, Heat Fetish, just took a sledgehammer towards your A/C unit.
The Arizona quintet turned over three-fifths of its lineup sometime in 2009, with guitarist Jeremy Talley and vocalist James Muñoz remaining as the only original members. Such a move has seemed to reignite the band, as their Rise Records debut, Heat Fetish, reclaims the ferocity first heard 7 years ago on Pass The Flask.
Not to say that the group lost their swagger on their last two efforts; it’s just Heat Fetish is the end result they were trying to achieve with Found in the Flood and Silent Treatment. The Bled have found their ideal sound here – maintaining that brutal heaviness while implementing some experimental structures.
Opening track “Devolver” sets the stage immediately – Heat Fetish is going to specialize in scorching breakdowns executed by Talley and fellow guitarist Robbie Burbidge. Muñoz sounds rejuvenated on the mic, seamlessly transitioning from rough to clean vocals. “Mouthbreather” continues the pace, while “Running Through Walls” features an exhilarating final minute. Basically the first few songs of Heat Fetish are The Bled reminding everyone that they will kick your ass, as “Smoke Breaks” is the musically equivalent of a curb-stomping.
Heat Fetish changes up tempos a bit with “Need New Conspirators” and incorporates some southern flavor into “Needs.” The previous two Bled albums seem to have influenced “Meet Me in the Bone Orchard,” as its atmospheric verses collide with the raucous chorus. I also hear a Deftones-meets-Every Time I Die vibe on tracks like “Crowbait” and “When Exiting Your Vehicle.” The nearly six-minute closer, “Crawling Home,” is the album’s thesis statement – heavy and elemental rolled into that signature Bled sound.
With Heat Fetish, The Bled have put themselves back in the forefront of the genre. Plain and simple, this album is a dick kicker. Heat Fetish is the essential Bled record to own, as it is the quintet’s best and most consistent work to date.