Christian rockers Flyleaf have followed up their second album ‘Memento Mori’ with their third full-length release, titled ‘New Horizons’. Sadly, this record also marks the band’s final release with frontwoman Lacey Sturm at the helm, made somewhat more crushing by this release featuring some incredible vocal performances making her a tremendously tough act to follow. With their final act as this line-up, Flyleaf have set a high standard to live up to with new vocalist, Kristen May.
Kicking off with ‘Fire Fire’, the verses build up to a huge chorus willed with power and attitude that really starts this album off with force. Darker tracks such as ‘Green Heart’ and first single ‘Call You Out’ remind the listener of the known and loved Flyleaf from their self-titled album, but also showing both instrumental and vocal progression.
Taking control as frontwoman, Sturm delivers some mind blowing performances on one of the album’s more uplifting numbers ‘Great Love’ and the guitar-heavy ‘Freedom’, demonstrating the power of her voice as it constantly soars over the chaotic background.
Mellower tracks prove even further that Flyleaf are at the top of their game and not just relying on heavy numbers. Title track ‘New Horizons’ sees a quicker melody taking focus, whilst heartfelt closer ‘Broken Wings’ has an air of dedication to it, similar to ‘There For You’ and ‘So I Thought’ from their self-titled debut. Lyrically, Flyleaf are brilliant, the leading example of this is ‘Cage On The Ground’, which seems to take a poignant stand against the music industry changing an artist’s style for mainstream success.
‘New Horizons’ is an amazing release, showing Flyleaf at their strongest which is great for their fans and the band themselves, but really throws down the gauntlet for new vocalist, Kristen May. Her performances at live shows and on subsequent releases will be a huge factor in where Flyleaf go from here. As Lacey Sturm‘s parting note, ‘New Horizons’ is a great record to leave on and there’s no doubt that she’ll be sorely missed.
Written by Jonathon Barlow
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.