Following the poorly recieved ‘Tales Don’t Tell Themselves’ and ‘Memory And Humanity’ alongside the departure of guitairist Darran Smith, things weren’t looking great for Funeral For A Friend. However, 2011 has seen a massive turn around from the Welsh five-piece following the release of the brilliant ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ in March, which thrilled both critics and fans alike, and the band also spent a large part of the year on the road and delivered festival highlights at the likes of Download and Hevy. The band now round off what has been a fantastic year for them with the release of new EP, ‘See You All In Hell’.
The EP opens with new song, ‘High Castles’, which – to put bluntly – is an absolute banger. In a similar vein to the songs off ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’, the song boasts a gigantic sing along chorus wrapped in the post-hardcore flare that recalls what made the band such a thrilling proposition in their ‘Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation’ days. The song also gives way to an impressively meaty breakdown, before the welcome return of drummer Ryan Richards‘ rough vocals and a punchy gang vocal that altogether prove that the band are truly back on fine form and that this year has been far from a fluke. The nods to the band’s heavier roots are also put on display, with an impressive cover of Strife‘s ‘Will To Die’. Following singer Matt Davies-Kreye‘s cooing over the band at Hevy, FFAF have done a great job in covering the hardcore legends and display a sense of power many wouldn’t come to expect from the band.
Standing at 9 tracks, there’s plenty on offer on this release. Alongside the previous two tracks, there’s also 4 live XFM session tracks for ‘Sixteen’, ‘Broken Foundation’, ‘Man Alive’ and ‘Front Row Seats To The End Of The World’, that while obviously not being quite the same as actually getting sweaty in the pit, still do a fine job of showcasing Funeral For A Friend‘s fantastic live sound. There’s also a couple of acoustic renditions of ‘Old Hymns’ and ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ with a stripped down approach that really lets some great song writing shine through. The only real low point on the album is the odd LoveGadgetsHate remix of ‘Medicated’, which reimagines the song as a plodding electro tune that ambles along with no real peaks or big drops and doesn’t really go anywhere.
It’s a bit of a shame that there isn’t more original material on ‘See You All In Hell’, but that criticism aside, it’s more than worthy of Funeral For A Friend fans parting with their hard earned cash for. The EP in many way seves as a victory lap for what has been a fantastic year for the band. FFAF can once again lay rightful claim to being one of the country’s best bands, and proves that there’s still a lot more to get excited about in the future.
Written by Gavin Lloyd