Top positive review
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Very Solid Album
on June 11, 2014
This album continues the band into the direction of finding their niche and it sounds good. This go around Joel and Ahren's vocals have defiantly improved in a good way on this album. Especially in Joel's Unclean/Harsh vocal performance. Below I have broken out my review on a track by track bases.
1. Pittsburgh - 10/10 - Starts off with a very slow ambient intro that I did not expect but sounds good. The intro then leads into the all so familiar voice of Joel Birch. The song structure include the routine back and forth between Harsh/Clean vocals, with a very melodic chorus with possibly the most memorable lyrics in a chorus I have heard from them. Then finally leading into a youth choir singing the chorus which is a nice touch.
2. Lost and Fading - 8/10 - This also has another notably catchy chorus, with an ambient break down the leads into some techno/electronic instrumental support but not enough to take anything away from the track.
3. Don't Lean On Me - 9/10 - This song starts off with a very beautiful classic piano intro. The song structure after this is very well standard to the genre but in a good way. The song also calls upon violin and piano for the entirety of the track.
4. The Weigh Down - 8/10 - This intro also rely on a piano intro but in a much different way. The intro could be straight out of the 90's pop hand book. Some vocal break ups and electronic beats and breakdowns can be noted on this song, but again in a very small portion as to not feel over bearing.
5. Never Alone - 8/10 - Another piano intro but this time assisted by the rest of the band. Some special effects assist this song throughout. This song has a very uplifting and soft feeling/flow to it with Ahrens's clean vocals defiantly outshining here. The end of the song however closes with a voice mail message with a much darker message about self-destruction and the cries of someone not heard than the message the song had with an ambient backdrop.
6. Death Hands - 10/10 - Starts off with a simple but catchy distorted guitar sections that has a very 80's action movie feeling to it, that lead into some awesome drumming from Ryan with violin in the back drop. This is one of my favorite songs on this album for its switches and incorporation of so many different instruments and sound affects but in a really neat way. Joel and Ahrens's vocals again shine with another very strong set of lyrics
7. F.M.L - 8/10 - Simple song that doesn't really veer away from the song structure and techniques before it but still a solid song. Much heavier intro that waste no time getting into some strong vocals from Joel. The message more or less following
8. My Father's Son - 7/10 - Very familiar song structure as the track before as they waste no time getting right into it. This song reminds me of some of their older stuff the most with a slightly different twist on it.
9. Forest Fire - 8/10 - Another awesomely melodic intro and song in general. The only thing that keeps this song from being a hard rock ballad is Joel's voice which again complement this track very well. Less electronic assistance in this song then the previous offerings.
10. Give It All - 8/10 - This song a very good way to end this album. The song starts off with some ambient/piano work but again not in a way that you could group this with the tracks before it. The lyrics, guitar, drum, bass and vocals are really good on this track. Less assistance in the electronic section as well.
All in all the most solid record I have gotten from these guys. For a band that puts out an album every 2 years they always seem to offer something that others would take 4+ years creating which is great for the existing fans or anyone just getting into them. Their ability to experiment in newer directions musically servers them well as they have not missed their mark yet.