Long after you cast your eyes away, the cover of hardcore band Bleeding Through's latest CD, The Truth, stays with you.
The black-and-white still features a mauled human face, with part of the cheek torn away and the jaw completely gone. Grotesqueness and brutality are hallmarks of not only the photo but also the Orange County band, which has risen over the past few years through the metal ranks with unabashed honesty.
"I think "the truth' ties into the lyrics and how the songs are about real life and the trials and struggles people go through," says drummer Derek Youngsma, calling from one of the band's last Ozzfest 2006 dates in Tampa, Fla. "Just personal stuff. And the truth is, trying to put it out there and just saying, "This is us, we've gone through the same stuff you have.'"
He adds, "And sometimes, life makes you feel like you don't have a voice."
It appears as though that voice is changing for Bleeding Through, which explored different textures on The Truth, and digressed into uncharted territory for the band. The track "Line in the Sand" sounds like a ballad, at least compared with the speeding "Love in Slow Motion" and ball-breaking "Kill to Believe."
Still, some fans feel Bleeding Through has played it safe with The Truth.
"I'm going to disagree on that," Youngsma says. "I think we kind of stuck our necks out on this album, and just tried some new ideas and tried some different things as a band. I wouldn't call it safe. I'd call it real. It's just us."
Bleeding Through, with Mikoto, Another Shade of Hate and The Murder Formula
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Friday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12, all ages; visit sodajerkpresents.com.