To Those Left Behind review by Blessthefall

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  • Released: Sep 18, 2015
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 7.7 (10 votes)
Blessthefall: To Those Left Behind
1

Sound — 7
Some bands mature, some bands don't. Which category does metalcore band blessthefall stand? With their fifth album in the year of 2015, it is clear that with a few lineup changes, from lead vocalist Craig Mabbit leaving after their first album in to rhythm guitarist Mike Frisby leaving just before 2011'a release "Awakening" in 2007, it's quite clear that these guys have changed their sound on basically each release of theirs. Whether there's been big changes or not is beside the point. These guys have changed their guitar tunings a style on basically every single album. Like most metalcore bands who started back at around 2007, Drop D was popular then, and soon the tunings have gradually gotten lower with each release. But in the end does that really matter? It's how they play. Most of this album is in Drop B, and it's clear that the guitar tone seems to sound heavier than before. But it isn't just the guitars doing the constant tremolo picking, and double hand tapping, it's unclean vocalist/bassist Jared Warth sending through extremely consistent growls that help create btf's signature sound that has been known since their first release.

It wasn't until "Awakening" where he really found quite a bit of range though. I consider him to be one of the best in metalcore today. The question is has lead vocalist Beau Bokan found his voice? I am trying so hard to like his voice, but honestly, it just hasn't grown that much. In fact, most of this album clearly uses effects on his vocals. "Dead Air" is a clear cut example that acts as a ballad. It's too bad because the song itself is beautiful. I really enjoy the quick tremolo picking going on during the intro. I really wish I could give him credit, but most of it is going to go to the other members of the band. "Decayer," "Walk on Water," "Against the Waves," "Oathbreaker," and the title track are the best examples of where Jared sounds the best. So basically half the album, three songs that are just Beau on vocals. The title track in particular has some real heavy, and pulsating guitar riffs going on during the intro to build up Jared's momentum. "Walk on Water" has more of a The Devil Wears Prada's "First Sight" feel during some of the guitar riffs. The breakdowns are quick heavy, as well as songs like "Against the Waves" and "Oathbreaker," where Jared also shines.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on this album tend to have some quality to it, but there are some in which can be seen as your typical metalcore ones. "Up in Flames" is a pretty good example of this:

"You always took me for granted
And never gave me a reason why
You left me stranded feeling worthless
Now all I see is death in your eyes
All I see is death in your eyes!"

But the song that has that typical metalcore message written all over it is in "Against the Waves":

"Nothing can last forever
I won't let you tell me how to live my life
You can't control me
I won't let you tell me how to live my life
You'll never bring me down."

I would say the best lyrics on this album actually come from "Walk on Water":

"We're reading psalms to the dead
Lighting candles to make amends
For a voice never to speak again
Six feet under for what never should've been."

Other lyrics from the song:

"Say I'm liar, say I'm a fake
I'm far from a saint
So I'll live with my mistakes

If I'm a liar, if I'm a fake
I'll take all these sins
And you can burn me at the stake."

The best ones actually comes from the ending of the song where the band stepped outside of their comfort zone. Jared uses fade out as the lyrics go:

"Son of God, are you listening?
Son of God, can you hear my cry?
We put our faith into you
How could you just watch them die?
Son of God, are you listening?
Son of God, can you hear my cry?
We put our faith into you
How could you just watch us die?"

So it really got me wondering whether or not these guys are still Christian or not.

Overall Impression — 8
"To Those Left Behind" seems to be trying really hard to tread some new ground by having a more diverse record. Is that a good thing? I mean, with three songs with just Beau on vocals, I only somewhat enjoyed one of them. Not only that, but like I said, Beau's vocals seem really overproduced at times. The guitar parts are solid, but there really isn't anything that new here. They already up'd the ante on "Awakening" by going heavier, but the only category I've seen them grow in is the double hand tapping section. Overall, Jared seems to be the main highlight of this album. he just keeps getting better, and you can already tell if you have seen them live within the past two years. Overall, this album is just slightly better than "Hollow Bodies" in my opinion.

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