Funeral For A Friend Return With Unapologetic "Chapter And Verse"
As far as most bands go, it’s not too hard to guess what sort of direction they’ll be taking when writing a new album. However, Funeral For A Friend like to make a statement that they are not ‘most bands’.
Moving from a post-hardcore sound to something a little more refined, to writing a really grown-up sea-themed concept album, before getting significantly heavier than they started for their 5th and 6th albums, there was really no way of telling how Chapter and Verse, the band’s 7th studio album, was going to sound.
Album opener "Stand By Me For The Millionth Time" is a slow one, suggesting the band have put the foot on the brakes, but this is soon alleviated by "You’ve Got a Bad Case of the Religions", which quickly sets the tone for the rest of the record. Instant album favourite comes in the form of "Pencil Pusher", the track which arguably serves as the musical middle ground of the album. With a riff that brings you straight to your feet, a beat that almost bangs your head for you and an infectious chorus that beckons a sing-along, everything about it is representative of what Funeral For A Friend do best.
The album as whole, surprisingly, fits as a logical follow-up to Conduit. While Conduit saw the band adopt a heavier approach, Chapter And Verse sees this approach refined to create something wonderful. It also becomes clearer and clearer with each passing track that Matt Davies (lead vocals) has been working on his new vocal style that was born out of Conduit; a style that sees him reach the crossover line between clean and screamed vocals, resulting in something a little different that the band wasted no time taking advantage of – apart from the 2-minute surprise acoustic piece "Brother" – the whole album is heavy as fuck to match this new vocal style. Seconds into "Modern Excuse of a Man" will have you wishing you were in the middle of a pit at a hardcore show. The album closer actually takes the foot off the pedal for a while, yet contains a hidden track which is positively rifftastic, leaving you wanting more.
Chapter And Verse also comes with obvious political lyricism. Unapologetic from the start, it touches on gender, religion and equality, and with track titles like "1%" and "Inequality", and lyrics such as “born with a dick doesn’t mean that I’m a misogynist”, it’s not even attempting to be subtle – further evidencing the fact that Funeral For A Friend have always done whatever they wanted and stuck to it, regardless of what anyone thinks. This straightforward and to-the-point style is pretty much the only thing that hasn’t changed about the band, so touching on pressing issues in their lyrics suits them perfectly and allows Chapter And Verse to act as a solid foundation should the band suddenly choose to be super-political.
By the end of the album, it’s clear that the band is happy with their current path and seeing how they progress from this for their next release should be exciting. Yet, with a band that is ever-changing like Funeral For A Friend, there’s no telling what might follow.
Click here to visit the Funeral For A Friend site and pre-order Chapter And Verse.
Click here for the Funeral For A Friend Facebook page.Words by Blaine Marshall