What a disappointment. After all the great press, industry praise, and baited anticipation, after everything Bleeding Through endured to wrestle this album from their label, hell, after naming the thing ‘Declaration’, you’d hope there’d be a sniff of greatness about this record. But instead it’s just more of the same. Oh sure, that means more ominous darkness (‘Finnis Fatalis Spei’), driving metallic intensity (‘Orange County…’), and crushing hardcore heaviness (‘Seller's Market’) but, instead of adding up to anything classic or career-defining, it just feels faceless and kind of limp. Riffs warm up but never explode, drums rattle hard and fast but go nowhere, and there are some incredibly clich├ęd lyrics here. And, despite getting studio loon Devin Townsend in to twiddle knobs, the production, something that Bleeding Through have always had problems with, lacks any depth and leaves Brandan Schiepatti’s vocals itchy and scratchy instead of booming and dominant. Still, it’s no failure, there are enough riffs and roars here to carry Bleeding Through on to album number six, but it is far from the essential statement of intent it was cracked up to be.