Sound — 10
Funeral For A Friend combine many styles within rock music. These include emo, hardcore, hair metal, grunge, post-hardcore and the odd bit of electronica. Their originality brought them to a wider audience than the Welsh hardcore scene. But a few years down the line, every Joe Bloggs is playing those C# riffs and are "borrowing" the odd lick from metal. FFAF's sound on "Hours" has moved away from the more scene orientated sound of their early EPs and their debut "Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation." Hours contains, as mentioned, a wide aray of styles which helps show-case the albums depth and diversity. "Hours" is a compelling listen which outshines their emo roots for a more orignal and intriguing sound.
Lyrics — 10
Lyricaly "Hours" is a darker affair than its predecessor. This becomes apparent with Matt Davies' approach on Roses For The Dead, Hospitality and Recovery. Matt Davies on the mentioned tracks shows his inner demons and home-truths. These home-truths deal with depression, bereavement and recovery, the latter is a common topic throughout the album. Matt's voice has matured to a richer and more soothing tone which once again sets Funeral For A Friend apart from their former peers. Ryan Richards' screaming vocals have been toned down as Funeral are in a more vocaly refrained state of mind, but none of the songs sufffer from this despite the fact that the guitars are heading towards a more agressive direction.
Overall Impression — 10
Hours overall is a contemporary masterpiece which has a broader outlook than anything Funeral have done to date. This broader approach leaves Funeral peerless, but it is through this that makes Hours such an impressive listen. For 42 minutes Hours flows very cohesively with the mellower and more refrained "History" being my personal highlight. Other standouts such as Hospitality, Drive, Sonny and All The Rage are all big departures from Funeral's previous sound. What makes Hours a convincing synthesis of all that is good about it is its everlasting depth and original approach to song writing. This album is a benchmark of all that has to come.