The Bled’s 2003 debut, Pass The Flask, was a high point in the history of metalcore. That record saw the band wringing tension out of every available moment. James Muñoz screamed like he was an animal being tortured while small, careful melodies exploded into anxious, instrumental attacks—even all the breakdowns felt punchy and deserved. Extra credit goes to Muñoz and Jeremy Ray Talley for setting the stage lyrically through their supremely fucked-up portraits of destruction and malice, which included an unflinching look at Dale Earnhardt’s fatal crash. The Bled recently returned from a hiatus with 2010’s Heat Fetish. That fourth LP arrived on the heels of Talley and Muñoz ditching lousy 9-to-5 jobs to give the band another go.