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The Players: Robin McAuley, vocals; Bob Pace, guitar; Rick Steel, drums; Dave Bates, guitar; Bjorn Englen, bass.

Material: Bleed is a heavy-duty metal band that creates a sound the band members call “industrial melodic chaos.” The group’s style is a blend of old-school balls-to-the-wall metal and 90’s industrial. Pounding, hypnotic, nose-bleed style rhythms are offset by Robin McAuley’s superb melodic vocal stylings. Doubled riffs and tricky solos seamlessly mix with group dynamics and thunderous drums. The set was highlighted by songs such as “We Breathe,” “Falling Down” and “Lead the Way.”

Musicianship: Bassist Bjorn Englen and drummer Rick Steel bond to create a wall of sonic intensity. Tuneful and expressive bass lines synch with monster-like drumming to dazzling effect. Guitarists Dave Bates and Bob Pace join forces to spawn thick unison lines, chugging rhythms and tag-team solos. While both guitarists are technically adept, however, their solos unfortunately lack tasty composition. Bates is an 80’s metal-lick factory and Pace favors blues-rock clichés. Former McAuley-Schenker Group vocalist Robin McAuley is a bona fide gift from the gods of rock. He combines the best attributes of the classic heavy rock vocalists with the youthful energy and passion of nu-metal vocalists.

Performance: At this show Bleed was a tight, well-oiled machine that let the music do the talking. Frontman McAuley effortlessly led the band and entertained the audience like the seasoned pro that he is. Audience members were seduced and captivated by the sheer power, virtuosity and passion of the music. Bleed brought a freshness and contemporary twist to metal fans without sacrificing key elements of the style.

Summary: These guys play the hard stuff, but Robin McAuley’s contribution lifts the band above the concrete and the steel. His soaring pitch-perfect old-school rock vocals are a great foil for the band’s brutal metal onslaught.

—-Oscar Jordan