In Fear and Faith - Symphonies
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: May 3, 2011
When Cody Anderson left In Fear and Faith last year, I feared for the worst. Two disappointingly underwhelming options flooded my brain. The first: they call it quits. Just give it up. Go their separate ways and form new and exciting genericore bands to flood the scene with. The second: hire a new screamer that would never be able to live up to Anderson's abilities. Instead, IFAF decided to give us all the proverbial finger and do something no one expected: make orchestral renditions of previous works, and include a guest vocalist on nearly every song. That, and show everyone once more why they're the supreme band on Rise (the masters of chug-chug-omgbrobrutalbreakdownanomics).
"Bones" shows us right from the get-go that this band knows how to blend the intense nature of their music with beautiful orchestra. The vehement piano and harsh screams flow as one. The last minute of "The Taste of Regret" is a wonderfully dark experience, filled with opera-like vocalizing and a driving string section. It also features former INFAF vocalist Tyler "Telle" Smith, who actually manages to be the one forgettable guest performance here, adding nothing notable to the rendition. "The Solitary Life" features Caleb Shomo (yeah, that Attack Attack! guy) and the track actually benefits from his new-found clean singing ability. His deep vocal display is the perfect contrast to Scott Barnes's mostly high voice. Craig Owens once again appears on "The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions" and again manages to impress, despite the song being really nothing all that shocking.
The album may disappoint those who found Imperial too soft for their taste, but this album bleeds creativity. This is not a band trying to test out different directions because they've lost their way, rather a band continuously moving forward and taking their massive amount of talent to new directions. While Symphonies contains absolutely no new songs, it still showcases a different, more complex side of the band, and it still manages to surprise. The album occasionally zigs when it should zag, but this is just as cohesive a record as Imperial, and possibly their best release yet.
I'm sure for their next full-length, they'll return to a heavier sound, but for now this will suffice as a significant and above average release from a band not afraid to test their limits, if such limits even exist at all.
"Bones" is possibly the best song on that album, Nick's voice is absolutely brilliant. And the screams at the end of "The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions" are just haunting, no other way to describe it.
Also, I lol'd SO hard at the "recommended if you like" for this. xD