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‘To Those Left Behind’
By: Scott Turney
Blessthefall are a five piece metalcore band from Phoenix, Arizona, and they are signed to Fearless Records. ‘To Those Left Behind’ is the band’s fourth album with the label. Blessthefall have always stayed the course with their metalcore sound. Lately however, they have been experimenting by adding more keyboards, synths, and other electronic elements to their music. This was shown briefly on their last album ‘Hollow Bodies’, but it is in full effect on ‘To Those Left Behind’.
‘To Those Left Behind’ begins with ‘Decayer’. The song starts with an ominous sound before both singers Beau Bokan and Jared Warth sing “Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Sever the ties, it was all for nothing!” then a great breakdown hits. Not only has Jared Warth’s screams gotten better since Blessthefall’s last album, but Beau Bokan’s clean singing voice has as well. The duo work well together in this song making it the perfect choice to start the album with. The next song ‘Walk On Water’ is another heavy hitter, and the keyboards are nicely incorporated. The end of the song also includes a distortion effect on Jared’s voice which is a nice touch.
The album continues with ‘Dead Air’ which is thus far the most unique track on the album as it focuses on Beau singing solo. It is a nice break from all the screams, as one song on the album should feature the clean vocalist singing by himself. Blessthefall then follows this up with the track ‘Up In Flames’. Another high powered song that they first introduced to their audience during Warped Tour 2015. The next song ‘Against The Waves’ is the fastest and heaviest song on the ‘To Those Left Behind’. The song is going to create massive circle pits, and have tons of fans crowd surfing when played live. Also with lyrics like “Recognize what lies before me, I will stare death in the face. Recognize what lies before me, I’ll stand against the waves!” Blessthefall are not messing around this time around, and are here to stay. As well as great lyrics, the song also includes more distortion effects, but this time taking place during a breakdown.
‘To Those Left Behind’ peaks at the song ‘Against The Waves, as Blessthefall tries too hard to incorporate synths and other electronic sounds in the songs following it. They are attempting to push their music further with this, but ‘Looking Down from the Edge’, ‘Keep What We Love & Burn the Rest’, and ‘Condition // Comatose’ disrupt the flow of the album. Back to back slow songs only hurt an album which was going at a great pace and Jared’s screams are not used in either of the songs. Thankfully all is returned to normal on ‘Oathbreaker’ which sees the return of not only Jared and his screams but the heavy aspect the album was missing.
The end of the ‘To Those Left Behind’ is an aptly titled song called ‘Departures’ which is another slow, but powerful song. Blessthefall usually puts their most emotional song last and this album is no different. Beau sings “I know it doesn’t seem like you’ll recover. Suffering that never goes away, but I’m here with you. So carry me through and use me as a light to guide your way.” Then a door shuts and the album is finished. Blessthefall’s ‘To Those Left Behind’ is an album with highs and lows. The highs being when there is cohesion between Beau and Jared as well as the synths and heaviness in the songs as in ‘Walk On Water and ‘Against The Waves’. When Blessthefall tries too hard in experimenting with the sound, the album suffers. For these reasons ‘To Those Left Behind gets 4 out of 5 stars, as the highs outweigh the lows. Hopefully on their next album, Blessthefall will craft songs in a way which will bring the band to even greater heights.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: Against The Waves”