Monday, 3 October 2011

Review: Blessthefall - Awakening

 Doing some research about Blessthefall, I've only recently come to discover this band was previously fronted by metalcore vocalist Craig Mabbitt. I had no idea. This means that Blessthefall can officially be associated with the overly complicated world of changing lineup and constant troubled members that is Escape the Fate. The most recent songs I heard from Escape the Fate bored the hell out of me and has made me worry about wether Blessthefall will sound just as boring. Also, Mabbitt's christian, which I suppose is the reason why we never see any more glamorous adultery-themed lyrics that were present in the Ronnie Radke era of Escape the Fate, and of course, the new place to find this is in Radke's new band, Falling in Reverse. Actually a funny story about the making of this new Blessthefall album is that they wanted Radke for some guest vocals, which is just awesome and most likely a way to get back at Mabbitt. Anyway, yeah. Radke pretty much epitomizes the rockstar life and that cannot be denied.
 Now that I've finished losing my head and obsessing over Ronnie Radke, it's time to move onto the more relevant issue of the new Blessthefall album, Awakening.

Awakening presents listeners with the type of emo and metalcore amalgamation that Atreyu and the earlier work of Avenged Sevenfold is popular for, but presented with a much more polished production. So the overall style of the music is the jagged punk riffs accompanied by frequent groove orientated breakdowns, with moments that provide a real sense of warmth and soulfulness within the flourishing choruses featuring the soaring and impassioned vocals of Beau Bokan, a vocalist who remains largely melodic throughout, though his screaming vocals sound more like a more guttural Roger Miret, giving the album more of a traditional hardcore feel, which fits the gleaming production of it all. That's not to say the album comes without it's brutality. The music itself bleeds an intense feel of spite and anger, with an intent to cause pain, and the lengths the band goes to to achieve this is astounding. The initial response to such belters as I'm Bad News, In the Best Way and The Reign is to throw oneself into a powerful array of body movement.
 However, it often feels like this is the only real motive for the album. The metalcore is brutal and frantic enough but it's slick production takes away some sense of realism and sugar-coats over the rough edges that better examples of albums of this fusion of genres possess, like A7X's Waking the Fallen.
 This makes Awakening a much more accessible metalcore album and serves as the kind of album that one may use as a first stepping stone into the genre alongside their friends, or rivals, in Escape the Fate and Falling in Reverse. With that being it's intent, I suppose the album works, wether that's a good mark to achieve in making music is another issue.

 Blessthefall's Awakening is out now via Fearless Records. The band will tour the UK from the 15th-18th October with Pierce the Veil and Motionless in White.

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