Monday, 7 November 2011

Review: Funeral for a Friend - See You All In Hell

 Following the success of March's awesome Welcome Home Armageddon, Bridgend's finest Funeral for a Friend come bouncing back with an EP of new material, the lovingly titled See You All In Hell, and it's pretty much effective in displaying the almighty talent and confidence the hardcore quintet still possess in spite of what has an unexpected line up change following the departure of long time guitarist Darran Smith and a switch of position for bassist Gavin Burrough which saw him take to the six strings.

 As the one new track High Castles leaps into action with Ryan Richards doing some furious drum pounding, listeners are dropped into some rapid hardcore riffing which maintains a good hook. Carrying an overall upbeat-yet-angry attitude about it and featuring an impressive and gripping breakdown, High Castles is as fun as it is engaging.
 To my surprise, also enjoyable is the remix of the Welcome Home Armageddon track Medicated by fellow Bridgend resident LoveGadgetsHateGizmos, giving the track a more gentle and ambient atmosphere, which gives the track a more atmospheric and chilling perspective, as well as giving the song some qualities of the soundtrack of 1980s video games.
 These are probably the two main highlights of the EP, listeners will also find live versions of Sixteen, Broken Foundation, Man Alive and Front Row Seats to the End of the World, recorded at XFM, as well as acoustic versions of Old Hymns and Welcome Home Armageddon, where the power of the vocals of Matt Davies-Kreye take real control and their sense of power is beautifully revealed.
 However, the EP isn't all good and well. Their cover of Strife's Will To Die, is well done enough, however in comparison to the original, it's pretty weak. Mainly because the group don't really do enough to make it their own, and it doesn't pack the same punch of the original at all. Also Richards Matt Davies-Kreye sound like add to the feeling of unoriginality, as it sounds like they're doing cheap impressions of Rick Rodney and Chino Moreno's vocal efforts in the 1997 original.
 Other than that, See You All In Hell serves as a solid collection of decent hardcore songs played with much ferocity and power when live and with much soul and serenity when acoustic or remixed. It's simply a sign that FFAF are still standing strong in spite of any little slip up that gets in their way.

 Funeral for a Friend's See You All In Hell is out now via Distiller Records. The band will play at The Ballroom in Birmingham with The Subways on the 16th December.

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