Back in 2012, a sad day befell the rock music scene as Lacey Sturm announced that Flyleaf‘s newly released album, ‘New Horizons’, would be her last and she was leaving to spend more time with her family. Thankfully, some of this time away has been spent writing new material, and 2016 sees Sturm return with her first solo effort, ‘Life Screams’, complete with her husband Joshua Sturm accompanying her amongst others on a spectacular return to form showcasing everything that everyone wanted the new Flyleaf record to be, and more.
Opening track, ‘Impossible’, keeps a strong undertone in the verse whilst Sturm builds up to an exultant chorus, complete with some screaming vocals that everyone has been waiting for since the days of ‘I’m So Sick’. This leads into powerfully defiant number ‘The Soldier’, telling a story of outright self-belief and empowerment, but in a very relatable manner considering the heavy nature of the chorus.
The deeply personal, brutal, and emotionally raw nature of this record is never more apparent than throughout ‘Vanity’, which demonstrates the truly harrowing nature of a controlling, abusive relationship. Sturm herself features in the conversation-turned-argument whereby the other party describes her bruises as “badges of honour”, claiming she owes him her life as she stands strong screaming to the contrary.
From the darkest depths of this record comes ‘Rot’, which is instrumentally the heaviest on the record as we follow Sturm out of the darkness back into control, all the while keeping a poignant vulnerability about herself.
Echoing the soothing nature of ‘So I Thought’ from Flyleaf‘s prime, Sturm takes a calmer approach on the LP’s title-track and closer ‘Run To You’, outing a comparatively warmer light on an emotionally powerful record. This is rounded off by a fantastic cover of The Police hit ‘Roxanne’, which, not only keeps in with the theme of the record, but also allows Sturm to deliver a superb screaming performance.
Four years ago you would’ve struggled to find anyone that was happy with Lacey Sturm departing from the music scene. However, if that was the necessary step to the creation of ‘Life Screams’, then there will be a formidable army of fans supporting her every move. It’s a painfully personal and powerful record that brings her back, but what an incredible return it is.
Written by Jon Barlow (@Narlow1)