blessthefall have come a long way since the release of their debut ‘His Last Walk’ all the way back in 2007. After establishing a firm fanbase with Craig Mabbitt, the band eventually moved on without him, replacing him with their current vocalist Beau Bokan. Whenever a vocalist leaves a band, there are always disputes and debates on which is the better vocalist, which is exactly what happened with their last record, ‘Witness’. However, third outing ‘Awakening’ really steps up to the plate and shows a lot of promise for the band.
The album gets underway with their title-track, ‘Awakening’, which serves as an introduction, following a very similar style to that of ‘2.0’ on their previous album. “We are the saints / We are the promised ones” is repeated throughout the track, causing a slow build-up to the wrecking ball that is ‘Promised Ones’. This method of starting off the album is effective, but having done almost the exact same thing previously takes away the originality of it and comes across as if they’re just trying to recycle previous successes. ‘Promised Ones’ opens with sheer power through both a hooking, up tempo riff and a powerful scream from bassist Jared Warth. The track continues to show how the band has improved, both vocally and instrumentally, through a range of pitches in Beau‘s melodic vocal style and some soaring solos and battering breakdowns. The track manages to sustain its brilliance throughout, providing a decent start to the album.
Their instrumental progression is shown clearly through songs like ‘Bottomfeeder’ and ‘Bones Crew’, both of which particularly showcases a fair deal of improvement within drummer Matt Traynor. Songs like ‘Meet Me At The Gates’ and ’40 Days’ also show a definite improvement in Beau‘s vocals, both songs are only relying on melodic vocals alone, which really strips things down to give us a clear example of exactly what he’s capable of. The only main letdown with the vocals is that after a while they begin to sound quite repetitive and whiney from time to time. The record also provides some typical hard-hitting tracks like ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ and ‘I’m Bad News In The Best Way’, which supply some skilful guitar work from guitarists Elliott Gruenberg and Eric Lambert.
blessthefall are definitely a good band, and this is certainly a good record. However, it remains far from ‘album of the year’ standard, and lacks to provide anything new that we haven’t heard from metalcore bands in the past. The band has clearly shown what they are made of, and that they are definitely good at what they do, the album just lacks that special something. Nevertheless, the album is still enjoyable and ticks most of the boxes.
Written by Matthew Collins
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.