Sound — 8
I am a new fan to blessthefall, as this is the first album I've heard by them. As a new listener, I can say that 'Witness' grabbed my attention and I am a big fan of this band. I think the best elements of 'Witness' are the vocals. The clean and screaming singing fit perfectly together and both vocalists do a great job at switching of and singing together. The instrumentation is good, but not anything real creative. It's quite simple but sometimes, if used correctly, that can be a good thing. On 'Witness', blessthefall makes use of simple instrumention. The exception to this is the drums as they stand out in many songs. Another thing (not to get anyone upset, haha) as a fan of The Devil Wears Prada, I can see that blessthefall used them as a major influence on here. The screaming sounds similar (but somewhat better) than Mike Hranica of tDWP and to me all clean vocals of this genre of music sound the same. 01. 2.0: this is a good opener to the album, but I can't really say that I would listen to it a lot. The drums are what stand out the most to me on this track, immediatly giving an energetic sound to introduce the album. However, it gets pretty repetitive. 02. What's Left of Me: after a smooth transition from 2.0, the song opens up. The suspense builds up with the feedback and scratches until the screams. This song contains some of my favorite lyrics, with the ominous lyrics to start it out "Don't let your eyes go shut on me/I won't let your voice be silenced". Then Beau sings in a haunting tone "Blood is dripping from my hands/tell me is this what you wanted?". The guitar riff in the back completes the effect. The song slows at the bridge until the outro, my favorite part, with the almost agonizing lyrics "Oh, I'm drowning" and "Forgive me!" 03. To Hell and Back: this, for me, is the weakest song on the album. I'm not sure, but as a whole, the song lacks something. The lyrics are O.K., but nothing special. I think it didn't come out as aggressive as they wanted it. 04. God Wears Gucci: this is one of the songs where I see a tDWP influence. The intro of the song reminds me of the intro to "HTML Rulez D00d". Anyway, a pretty intense song overall, and the chorus has a pretty good sound to it. Beau's singing is pretty impressive in parts of the verses and bridge. The biggest problem I have with listening to it is the phone call at the end. This really just irritates me and is pretty much pointless to have. 05. Hey Baby, Here's the Song You Wanted: this is one of the best songs on the album. Although there's no screaming and the lyrics are very cliche, it's a catchy song and is one of my favorites. The guitar riff is good throughout and keeps it's sound all through the track. 06. Witness: at the halfway point of the album, it really starts to get louder. This song is aggressive and one of the heaviest on the CD. The drums stand out the most here. 07. Last One's Left: another one of my favorites. It's a more upbeat, faster-paced song, but still remains heavy. Clean vocals dominate, and are used well. There's nothing special about the song, but it's just put together well. 08. Five Ninety: my first impression of Five Ninety was that it sounds too much like "What's Left of Me" at the beginning. However, after the intro, it turns out to be one of the best on the album. The verse builds up to the chorus perfect and the clean singing is amazing. The song really gets good toward the end when the intro comes back with "Close to Yo-o-o-o-u!" 09. We'll Sleep When We're Dead: of course, an album always has the song/songs that just shouldn't be there. This is one of them. It's just boring and doesn't have a strong structure like the rest. When listening through the whole album for the first time, at this point I got impatient. 10. Skinwalkers: the other song that just disturbs the albums momentum. The song itself just carries on and it doesn't have 'that part' that makes a song. But, when listening to it, I did notice that there is a riff after the first chorus that sounds familiar to, say, the opening to UnderATH's "Desperate Times Desperate Measures". 11. You Deserve Nothing & I Hope You Get Less: thankfully, the albums low point was just two songs and then it picks up again with this in-your-face song. The drums at the beginning and the various effect throughout rally add a nice touch. 12. Stay Still: no screaming in this song, but a great closer for 'Witness'. It's still fairly heavy, but it's one of the more melodic songs off the album.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are written well in this album, but a lot of the songs are cliche-filled. Most of them talk about "Letting go" and other elements of relationships. However, there are some songs such as "What's Left of Me" that are written very good. Beau Boken sounds like other singers I've heard, besides every other post-hardcore singer. Sometimes he sounds like Ben Graham of Since October or Kevin Young of Disciple, just with a cleaner voice. Altogether though, the vocals and lyrics are probably the best elements of the album.
Overall Impression — 8
To me, blessthefall sounds like another version of The Devil Wears Prada. They're not exactly the same, and probably a different genre, but it's there. The best songs on 'Witness' are: What's Left of Me Hey Baby... Five Ninety You Deserve Nothing...