Hard Feelings by Blessthefall (Rise Records)
Blessthefall is what many folks in the post-hardcore community consider to be one of the most prolific bands in the genre. A group that has made their mark and will always be remembered for the impact they’ve made on the post-hardcore genre itself. With their explosive breakdowns and ferocious riffs, they have been an influence on many of the artists we see today. They have defined the genre for years and have been a dominant band in the scene since their debut album His Last Walk and continued to be a leader for years to come. With Hard Feelings, their 6th record and label debut for Rise Records, they’ve changed the game yet again.
Hard Feelings is a mix of classic Blessthefall that reminds me of the Awakening days but comes with a sense of maturity and musicianship that will bring them forward into the new era – and will continue their legacy of being one of the raddest groups in the music scene. Old and new Blessthefall fans will immediately feel at home from the very first track on the record and will be hooked from start to finish. No doubt these boys are back with a vengeance.
Front man Beau Bokan has stepped up the game lyrically and is showing incredible skill and diversity with every song. Rather than relying on screaming like many other bands, they use it when the song calls for it, and it leaves an impression every time. Feeling Low is a perfect example of Beau and bassist/screamer Jared Warth’s synchronicity. Their vocal styles mesh perfectly to create a unique sound unlike anything else and it shines on the new record. They definitely still have the groove they’ve always had. Warth’s capability to scream as well as play bass has always been impressive, but he’s never sounded more solid and the song Cutthroat gives him his opportunity to make a statement. Being one of the heavier songs on the album Cutthroat brings back the old school Blessthefall vibe that will surely be a song they need to play in their live performances.
Musically they have always been a force to reckon with. Guitarists Eric Lambert and Elliot Gruenburg have taken it up a notch in the way they bounce back and forth. Song’s such as I’m Over Being Under(rated) and Melodramatic show just that. Mixed with Warth’s bass, they’ve created a string section that is completely unique to anything in the scene at this current time. Drummer Matt Traynor is extremely impressive on Hard Feelings. His ability to keep a solid rhythm while merging is own style is instantly recognizable as all his own. Musically and lyrically this is one of the more diverse albums Blessthefall has ever put out. It will surely please all fans old and new. There is no denying Blessthefall’s debut at Rise Records and their new record Hard Feelings will keep them going for years to come as it’s solid from start to finish.
(Review by Edward M. Brandon)
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