Sound — 3
"Incomplete Me" marks the 3rd full-length album from Minnesota natives For All Those Sleeping. Their debut album "Cross Your Fingers" was an okay release but it didn't really do much to separate itself from the herd of other metalcore bands. Their sophomore effort "Outspoken" didn't really improve the diversity, but I thought it had some catchy tunes that didn't take themselves too seriously which is rare among most metalcore bands. "Outspoken" definitely had some moments and the band was moving in the right direction of a more self aware band that didn't take themselves too seriously.
With "Incomplete Me," FATS seems to abandon most of the light hearted spirit and catchiness of the tracks on "Outspoken." The overall instrumentation is darker compared to the previous release, and there honestly isn't one track on this album that has that catchy hook or chorus which made songs from the last album fun to rock out to. From start to finish, the album just screams monotony and there is little in the way of mixing up the song formula. Extremely downtuned guitars, an abundance of breakdowns, and your typical run of the mill verses that attempt to be technical. I swear the verse riffs in "Poison Party" and "My Funeral" sound almost identical. The title track "Incomplete Me" follows the routine of an epic buildup into the chorus. A lot of the choruses, especially in "Crosses" and "Poison Party" seem to be blatantly ripped off from other bands in the genre who have already done them better. Songs like "We're All Going to Die" and "Home" try to be fast and aggressive but just don't hit the mark and still come off as bland. It's honestly astounding how similar all the songs sound that they all kind of blend together and it's hard to differentiate one from the next. The only "redeeming" tracks for me are "Red" and "Tomorrow" which are the lightest tracks on the album but have some catchy hooks and some decent guitar work that make them unique from the rest of the album.
Lyrics — 5
Mike Champa is the unclean vocalist (but has a few cleans here and there), and bassist London Snetsinger handles most of the cleans. I have to give credit to Champa who has a pretty incredible range of screams and growls and puts those to full use on this album. He is known for delivering a strong live performance as well that also showcase his wide array of vocal styles. On the other hand, Snetsinger has the same high pitched voice found in a myriad of other metalcore bands. Again, the choruses he sings on this album all kind of blend together and his range just isn't as impressive as Champa's. The lyrics themselves consist of themes that deal with depression, isolation, and tumultuous relationships for the most part. These themes have been a staple of the genre for the last couple years and FATS isn't really embellishing on these topics to make the lyrics stand out. Here is a sample from the song "Crosses":
"It stars with a spark
but all ends the same
give it up
go down in flames
and once you know it's already too late
Open up the flood gates
you wanna trust my words
heal my hurt and feel my pain
but if you knew the reasons I run
they'd be the reasons you'd never stay
Nothing Matters, but the voice inside."
Overall Impression — 4
After the hope I had for FATS to bank off the lighter tone on "Outspoken" and create a more party-themed metalcore album, they seem to regress and create an absolutely generic album with "Incomplete Me." This is basically the definition of your typical cookie-cutter metalcore band, with little saving grace to warrant it's purchase. Hopefully FATS bring back the flavor from "Outspoken" with their next record and abandon the overly serious tone found on "Incomplete Me." If I had to pick any songs that were somewhat "enjoyable" it would have to be "Red" and "Tomorrow."