Blessthefall Return With Crowd Pleaser
Who can forget this band's spectacular debut? When they broke onto the alternative scene in 2007 with ‘His Last Walk’, it was one of those moments I realised how magical music really can be. Now eight years, and a vital change in lineup, later and the band is set to release their fourth studio album; recorded and produced by Joey Sturgis - known for his work with The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria and Of Mice & Men.
Following their 2013 record, ‘Hollow Bodies’ - which achieved their best first week sales to date and landed them at #15 on the US Billboard album chart Top 200 - the Arizona quintet are saddling up for a paramount deliverance.
"As a band we are constantly trying to outdo ourselves and take a step forward with each record," explains lead vocalist Beau Bokan. "With this new album we've taken a giant f*cking leap forward and are at our absolute best as musicians and songwriters. We're looking forward to seeing where this album will take us."
So where will this album take them? Perhaps more importantly, where will it take the listener?
Opening track, “Decayer”, is introduced with all the trimmings; a get-down riff, crashing percussion and a smashing melody that snakes around Jared Warth's earth-shattering growls, before carrying Beau Bokan's clean vocals. Perhaps a recycled recipe, but one that works particularly well for them.
“Walk on Water” is a personal favourite. It’s energetic, rhythmic and every element is perfectly married to the next. This song has the perfect balance of Bokan’s melodic vocals and Warth’s gritty screams.
Although a solid track, blessthefall's single, “Up in Flames”, isn't quite as strong as “Walk on Water” or “Dead Air” in my opinion. With that said, the opening minute is brilliant and to be honest, there isn't anything to fault them on - it simply didn't hook in the way the rest of the album did.
Title track, “To Those Left Behind”, starts with a crescendoing drum intro, showcasing Matt Traynor’s talents in a truly pleasing light. What flowers from there, is a rip roaring riff that injects the track with an infectious energy.
The album slows down with “Departures”; an evocative track that truly closes the album with a passionate deliverance, both vocally and instrumentally.
The question remains; where does this album take the listener? For me, it’s a melodious journey through the band’s evolution. They’ve gone from strength to strength and will most likely continue to do so. All in all, Blessthefall has put forward something long-term fans and newbies alike will truly enjoy.
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Words by Renette van der Merwe