by Reggie Edwards
It’s not often that a band can lose a frontman and produce a solid record with a new one. It’s even rarer when that same band loses a guitarist and comes back with a strong follow-up record. Well, the five-person metalcore outfit of Blessthefall has done just that with Awakening.
After losing frontman Craig Mabbitt to Escape the Fate, they returned with 2009’s Witness, which featured new vocalist Beau Bokan and saw positive reviews and created a lot of buzz for their next release.
Exit longtime rhythm guitarist Mike Frisby and enter new rhythm guitarist Eric Gruenberg and the new record was getting even more buzz with fans and critics wondering what the new record would be like.
Blessthefall have returned with Awakening, the third full-length record from the Phoenix, Arizona-based metalcore five-some. And let me tell you, they did not disappoint.
The opening intro track, also the title track, fades in with a building guitar line into a dynamic drum beat, setting the stage for an epic experience.
This is how the majority of the record is, too, strong in pretty much every aspect. You will feel Matt Traynor’s double bass on every metal-lover’s level if listened to on the right system.
What I like most about this record is that the sound gives it that of their earlier work, like His Last Walk.
Awakening, jam-packed with riveting breakdowns and ear-rattling vocals, this one is a must-listen for anyone who’s a fan of Blessthefall.
My only criticism is that the metalcore scene is in desperate need of a household name, one that is synonymous with the metalcore scene. We need a band who people will think of as soon as they mention metalcore.
Also, the last few tracks are a little slower and feature a lot of synthesizers and time-changes. This is a step down from the rest of the record and a change of pace. However, it’s one that isn’t really needed and I was really hoping they would send Awakening off with a bang.
Even though this is a great record and is probably one of my favorite metalcore records of the quarter, Blessthefall still has some work to do if they want to be that band and to take the step to the level they have the potential to be at. They aren’t far though, this much is clear.
At the end of the day, this is some of the best work they have done to date and they aren’t far from being jolted into the upper ranks of metalcore.
Release Date: October 4 (Fearless Records)