UG Team, on march 28, 2013 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: You may know a few things about Senses Fail, but sadly there's a chance you may have forgotten them. The listening statistics haven't favoured them greatly since their boom in the mid 00s, and recent output has been rather pale. Compounding their bad luck, founding guitarist Garrett Zablocki left in 2011, leaving them with a new album to write and a new identity to carve in his absence. They've set the bar high - "Renacer" means "to be reborn" in Spanish but on this evidence here there are no dramas. None at all.
New guy Matt Smith has galvanized them. New life is abound in the riffs, and riffs are what drives this album. There are nods to Finch, Every Time I Die and Slipknot, sometimes in the same song, and the way they're handled is unlike anything the band have previously done in any great measure.
"Renacer" is heavier but also more accommodating to new influences. Prior to this their tendency was to go right for the vocal hook and beef the guitars as a sort of pop enabler; this time the approach is more varied, both vocally and in terms of where emphasis is placed. "The Path" is a perfect example, harsh and volatile but cuddling up to artier rock influences in the intermittent vocal melody. Following that is "Canine", a song not a million miles away from crust punk in the beginning, and then "Glass", a rockier track which uses aggressive vocals as a foil to introspective guitars. It's a fascinating study of the riff if that's how you choose to treat it. Remember to read and listen within the parameters of Senses Fail and their often-ridiculed genre and you'll start to get an idea of how refreshing this is. // 8
Lyrics: There is, in fact, improvement in all areas besides lyrics. Buddy Nielsen sounds gruff when he screams and ever-more mature when he sings. The nasally American it seems, have also been phased out. However, one of the most intelligible and most surprising lines from "Glass" is "it doesn't matter if you fall down/get the f--k back up", and that about sums up where they're at lyrically. Those kinds of lines are rare and the serviceable, personal themes are all well and good, but Nielsen hasn't quite kept pace with the musical progression when he's put pen to paper. // 7
Overall Impression: "Renacer" is really quite impressive. You do worry that it may have come too late for some people but here Senses Fail have proven they've got something good going and it's something out of nothing. The album falls just short of capturing high quality consistently, but expect them to improve on that next time - for now, their foot is in the door. Give them another chance or consider your loyalty repaid, because this is quite possibly the best album they've ever made.
talgat, on april 18, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Four albums later and Senses Fail was still relevant in 2010 but it was obvious that every album just followed a formula and sales were dwindling. Then a blessing in disguise occurred, Garrett Zablocki (guitarist and main songwriter) left the band in late 2010 after eight years. Obviously with a main songwriter gone, things would be different and they are on Senses Fail's fifth full length "Renacer". The album is hardcore, on that fine border of hard metal and hardcore punk and the album definitely sounds like a new and improved Senses Fail. No more is the catchy punk with a basic formula. This album goes hard and feels natural compared to previous albums. It's Senses Fail at its best, powerful drums, blaring guitar tuned down and bass that you can actually in a way feel. There's no break in the pace of this album, it's fast and an onslaught the entire way, with only slight breaks, up until the last track where things slow down for a bit. // 10
Lyrics: Since 2002 Buddy Nielsen has been lead singer and lyricist for Senses Fail and it showed. All the lyrics were emotional and about suicide, addiction, self loathing and his bad relations with his father. Now though he has moved on in a sense and has written some of the most positive lyrics you could imagine. Now that may be hard to believe based on the relentless screaming and thrashing guitars but it is the sweet irony in this record, it isn't just any record and it's not just about being hardcore, it's about overcoming and letting go which comes up a lot in this record. Granted some songs are as well written as others and the lead single "Mi Amor" is a great experiment into another language but it falls a bit short. Overall the lyrics are great and positive while being delivered in a screaming and rough form that gives a great contrast. // 7
Overall Impression: In Spanish "renacer" mean "to be reborn" and Senses Fail was definitely reborn on this record. After years of the same old stuff being thrown back at us, Senses Fail have finally thrown one hell of a curve ball and been able to show a new side of themselves. After declining sales and just being lost, they have found themselves in a positive side of life while still being able to be hardcore as $#*&. Overall "Renacer" is Senses Fail at their best and every element together provides a great look at exactly how things are going to be from now on and I don't think anyone will mind. // 9