Grand Unification Review

artist: Fightstar date: 03/24/2006 category: compact discs
Fightstar: Grand Unification
Release Date: Mar 16, 2006
Genres: Post-Hardcore, Alternative Rock
Label: Universal/Island
Number Of Tracks: 13
Grand Unification is the eagerly awaited 13 track debut album from Fightstar. It's an album that's bold in design and spectacular in execution.
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (4) 42 comments vote for this album:
Grand Unification Reviewed by: blink_kid_182, on march 24, 2006
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Wow! Just one word wow. I never thought that an ex-member of the infamous boy band Busted could produce a masterpiece of post hardcore. The sound is still the usual Fightstar, the grungy riffs, the fast, bulky choruses but there is something that makes it better than the EP. Possibly the studio influence but it seems like they now know how to write a real hardcore song. // 10

Lyrics: Charlie Simpson unleashes a lot of aggression, emotion and sometimes even poetic lyrics into the album. He surprised a lot of people in that sence becasue of such infamous busted songs as "Crashed The Wedding" and "What I Go To School For." You just have to listen to the song "Paint Your Target" and realise that he has broken out the pop icon shell and into a post-hardcore legand. Also the screamo parts are very well done in "Grand Unification Part 2" and "Paint Your Target." surprising, I think so. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall I would recommend this album to anyone. People may be put off because of Charlie's past band but don't let that bother you. This is nothing like Busted! Thankfully. The best songs on the album are probably Hazy Eyes, Paint Your Target, Grand Unification Part 1 and Waste A Moment. So but the album and support a great band. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Grand Unification Reviewed by: 19371, on july 20, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: WOW! Like another user said just, wow! I cannot believe what I heard when I actually heard this album for the first time. I thought that this had to be fake, no band can come into the rock community and possibly be as powerful as this. I mean it's like a metal simulator. It's so heavy and it's just awesome in every way! I believe that Charlie was in this band for a long time but then split from his previous band to join this one! I am amazed that they are not the band oh the moment they are just so good. I think that Charlie has done well for himself since his previous band (Busted). I think it's a bit childish when people say his talent was wasted in Busted, I mean that's what started him off in this band. If it wasn't for Busted it would have taken a long time for this awesome album to come out and actually be as good as it is! // 10

Lyrics: I think that both Charlie (Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Vocals and Piano) and Alex (Westaway, Lead and Rhythm Guitar and Vocals) have expressed a lot of feelings in this album and I'm sure this is something that Charlie and the whole band can be proud of! I feel that the lyrics fit in rather well with the music but you should watch out for the song "Grand Unification Pt. 2". I am not gonna tell you what it's like but it's just a terrible song to be honest with you! Both Alex and Charlie have shown some very powerful singing skills in this album, mostly from Charlie because I feel that Alex has the weaker voice! I think that the screaming could be done a little better, especially in "Paint Your Target". // 9

Overall Impression: This album is just something every fan of (good) music should have. This is something special. I don't know what it is about it, it's just absoloutly great. Well Done Fightstar! This is doesn't really compare to any bands as it is a combination of different style song (None that are pop by the way). The most impressive songs on the album I think are: Hazy Eyes, Paint Your Target, Open Your Eyes, Grand Unification Pt. 1, Waste A Moment, Sleep Well Tonight and Here Again (Last Conversation). Although that is nearly all the album it just only has like 1 bad track on it (Grand Unification Pt. 2) and the others are blasting out pure metal. I hate the fact that it is so good and love that fact that it couldn't (Probably) be any better! Buy this and you will love it! // 10

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overall: 7.7
Grand Unification Reviewed by: brokenwizard, on june 27, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This record is quite refreshing without actually being completely original. A mix of beatufully constructed clean riffs and heavy as hell drop tuned distortion makes this album a good roller coaster ride all the way through. The drums aren't over exaggerated and fit nicely with the songs which creates a good atmoshpere in the songs which all flow nicely making it an easy listen. While the bass and guitar isn't the most technically difficult they all make this album what it is and should be a dead cert to be tabbed in the Total Guitar/Guitar World magazine for teens to play with confidence. Dynamically this album is very good as well, featuring atmospheric break downs, dramatic build ups and huge explosions of sound this record will keep your attention! // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics seem to follow a general reoccurence of the world 'sleep', as you would expect with an emo record the lyrics tend to follow a similar theme all the way through of love and despair. There are however a few surprises. Grand Unification pt II of example features a scientist talking at the start and end of the song which is absolutely inspired. Charlie Simpsons british surrey with his sometimes gentle sometimes gruff other times down right hardcore vocals make this record quite refreshing especially if you're used to all the lates seatle accents from the likes of aiden and hawthorne hights. // 6

Overall Impression: Hang on a minute! I hear you say, isn't that the band with the guy from Busted in it? The answer to your question would infact be yes, but don't worry it's not one of the rubbish ones that went solo or formed Busted II, no this is Charlie Simpson, loved by Total Guitar, Metal Hammer and Kerrang so those of you have an open mind and can get past the fact he was in Busted may be pleasantly surprised with this record. Overall it features some pretty good riffs, mass amounts of atmospherics and it is nice to hear a band with a British accent for a change. Deffinately for fans of emo but with something to offer any sort of hard rock fan this record makes a nice change to the usual emo/hardcore scene and is deffinately worth a download if nothing else. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Grand Unification Reviewed by: matty182rules, on july 22, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Grand Unification is overall fantastic. It mixes all aspects of rock music from heavy metal like parts of Build An Army to soft upbeat music like in Open Your Eyes to Epic pieces like the incredable Mono. The drums are truly brought out well and Omar's beats are completly original and technical in every song while the bass is at that perfect volume that you only seem to get the songs you remember. I really can't describe it. But ohh the guitars. Such utter crunch and powerful essence on every last track (especially from Charlie's beautiful PRS). Not only this but the complete use of effects. Each song has at least one clever use of Fightstar's barrage of technical effects. Really, I haven't heard anything like this for a long time. // 10

Lyrics: The great thing about this album is that the lyrics all link back to the title of the album. All in a special, unique way. There's much more about this idea on the fightstar podcasts and they've done it so well. Charlie Simpson know's his limits but obviously not one of them appeared in this album. Not one wrong note nor does the singing sound bad in any place. However, for those high notes, there is always Alex Westaway to take over. Not really having a major role in this album but there would be no fightstar without him. Such beautiful vocal work on songs like Wake Up and harmonic work Build An Army he is urely capable of running Fightstar without frontman Charlie Simpson. // 9

Overall Impression: Grand Unification is very much a unique album and is hard to compare it to anything really. However, the colin Richardson presence in producing the album does bring out the heavy metal side of the album like such bands as Machine Head and so on. I do love pretty much all songs on the album and you could listen to it all the way through everytime you listen to it without skipping tracks like on other various CDs. On saying that, I do particularly like a few of the tracks more. But as time goes on, you will undoubtably find yourself changing your favourite songs. Currently I really like: Waste A Moment, Lost Like Tears In Rain, Here Again (Last Conversation), Build An Army. But, in a couple of weeks these will probably change. If I was ever to lose this album. Of course I'd buy it again! Happens to be my favourite album of all time! There is just one more point. This album is better than the EP in my opinion and Hazy Eyes is much better now it has been redone and so is Lost Like Tears In Rain. However, I believe that Mono is simply not as good. A lot of people will have their own opinions but the EP version of Mono is really quite beautiful and epic with how guitars mix together and Charlie's vocals just put it all into focus and then the significantly lowder and completly brutal pounding, really quite emotional last couple of minutes of the song are absolutly brillient. Fightstar had really made a masterpiece but on Grand Unification they have brought of the clean guitars more which to me doesn't really sound as good and then they make the volumes more even between clean and distorted which makes the heavy part no longer smack you in the face but you listen as really not much as happened. On saying all this, I do like how they have put a new riff in the start of the heavy part of Mono and they have highered the pitch by a tone so they have really pushed Charlie on the new version of this sing to sing his heart out. // 10

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