It was five years from the last album. Five years are a long time to be gone from the music industry these days. A lot of living has taken place. Fans grow older. Tastes change.
Singer/guitarist Ed Sloan declared that music was his enemy. After doing two album and tour cycles, he was burnt. It wasn’t until the other Crossfade band members, Les Hall and Mitch James snapped him out of his slumber towards the middle of 2008 that they started on working on new songs for the album that would become “We All Bleed”.
They had a new label in Eleven Seven Music. Allen Kovacs knows how to spot a good act and he pursued them hard enough from when Columbia dropped them. Eventually he ended up signing them.
It’s full of Muse’isms. It begins with a “Stockholm Syndrome” style riff that connects immediately. And then a Pantera style Chorus melody with a lot of groove. The song is credited to Les Hall and Ed Sloan and it’s a guitar heavy classic.
I’m not holding on to dead memories of what I used to be
I found a way to make this, I found me
It sets the theme of personal struggles evident throughout the whole album.
It’s a brutal song even though it is a country-style ballad. The brutality lays in its honesty.
The song started off with the words “Dear cocaine, I’m not your bitch …” written on a piece of paper by guitarist Les Hall. Mitch James then added the next line “Dear Cocaine, I’m not your whore”. T
“I Think You Should Know”
It’s another ballad that comes across as brutal. A Les Hall composition who proves himself over and over again as a songwriter to be reckoned with.
I think you should know how it feels
Falling down and out alone when no one cares
I think you should know how it feels
When the world buries your soul and you’re still alive
Isn’t that always the case, when you feel that the whole world is against you, no one just understands.
“Lay Me Down”
The song has got some serious groove. The underlying feel is Deftones but the song has so many different decorations added to it, that it makes it unique. Especially the lead guitar lines under the chorus vocal melody. Another Les Hall and Ed Sloan composition.
I’m useless, I’m done
I’ve written letters to the ones
I’ve loved so much that it hurts to say goodbye
I don’t wanna die, I just don’t wanna be alive
It’s dark and disturbing. It’s actually even darker than “Suicide Solution” or “Fade To Black”, yet those songs ended up in the courts.
“Make Me A Believer”
It starts off as another Muse inspired song. Then it starts to go into a progressive groove, with shades of early Black Sabbath. Is that a bass solo from the 8 minute mark?
Something is lost
Make me a believer
“Open Up Your Eyes”
Is that a tapping string skipping/sweep arpeggio lead break? Another Les Hall and Ed Sloan composition. So many eclectic styles are heard on this album.
So everybody just sing along
Make the answer known
Know that none of us are alone
Everyone of us should feel life
So open up your eyes!
A message of hope.
“Prove You Wrong”
It’s credited to Les Hall, Ed Sloan and Mitchell James however the initial draft was written by Ed Sloan when he got off the road after the “Falling Away” touring cycle. He wrote a piano upbeat song as he didn’t know what direction to go in. Once he handed the song in to the band, Les Hall worked it up to the version that we know.
Lyrically it is about going through a tough time and when Sloan finally snapped out of his depression he realised that he was bringing a lot of people down with him, so he decided to write this song and let everybody know that he was going to prove them wrong and that everything’s going to be all right in the end.
Someday I might stay sober
Figure out where I went wrong
Make some sense of what’s left of me
Make a go of this alone
Life is complicated, and we count on our music to get us through.
It looks like Les Hall was listening to some Dream Theater. “Suffocate” reminds me of Dream Theater’s “Disappear” and “The Ministry Of Lost Souls” with the addition of a Deftones type groove and finished off with some tasty classic rock lead breaks. What a great combination. What a great song.
This empty image of myself
A different view from someone else
It turns and slowly counts to three then it fades out
Then it fades out