ALBUM: blessthefall – Witness

Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Label: Fearless Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/blessthefall

Rating:

blessthefall caused a stir in the post-hardcore scene in 2007 with their debut full-length, ‘His Last Walk’. The Arizonian five-piece were rumoured to be the “next big thing” and were offered support slots on numerous tours as well as making headlines due to the departure of then vocalist Craig Mabbit – who left for personal reasons and then joined Escape The Fate. Two years later and the boys are back with their sophomore release, looking and sounding better than ever. Now signed to Fearless Records and armed with new frontman Beau Bokan, the band are once again on top form and have created a superb record. ‘Witness’, quite simply is a hundred times better than the quintet’s previous material, or as Bokan chose to describe the new album “‘His Last Walk’ on steroids”.

The record begins with a beast of an intro with ‘2.0’, and sees the whole band chant “Dead, we’re not dead / We’re not like you said / We’re not dead / We’re not where you dread”. The minute long track has clearly been constructed to use at live shows and will undeniably bring an immense shoutback from the crowds. Fans will love this record because it has the basics that were featured on ‘His Last Walk’ – heavy music with a combination of screams and clean vocals – but despite the similar structure blessthefall have stepped it up a notch on ‘Witness’.

It’s tracks such as ‘You Deserve Nothing And I Hope You Get Less’ and ‘Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted’ that highlight the change in the quintet’s sound. Both songs contain melodic guitars and fierce drums but for the majority of them we are entertained by Bokan‘s clean vocals as opposed to bassist Jared Warth‘s screams. It’s quite nice to hear something different and this notable change in style is clearly taking the band in a new direction.

Of course, the record has the heavier than life songs that we’ve all come to know and love. The album’s title track is a perfect example of this and features Warth‘s demonic-like screams, as does ‘Five Ninety’ that also highlights how talented guitarists Eric Lambert and Mike Frisby are. The post-hardcore piece are evidently having a great time experimenting with their sound and pushing it to the limits. In places the band are reminiscent of an earlier Underoath and also go on to sound like The Devil Wears Prada (despite mocking the group’s name with their song, ‘God Wears Gucci’).

blessthefall have done themselves proud quite frankly. ‘Witness’ is a solid album from start to finish and is likely to earn the band plenty more fans.

Written by Kate Rees