Sound — 10
Lets get down to it: "This Side of Brightness" - The first intro song that Funeral has ever made, and not too shabby either. A nice melodic piece, who knows if this could have been a whole song of its own, nevertheless, it runs comfortably into 'Old Hymns' and is a great start. "Old Hymns" - Straight away, this provides the evidence of a revitalised Funeral for a Friend. Nice combination of guitar play, and vocals between Matt and Gav. It sounds like a clich but it is a look back on old funeral, and mixing in the new. One of my faves on the album. "Front Row Seats to the End of the World" - Hearing this upon its release, I was impressed but skeptical. Matt's vocals are not his best in this song (still a catchy chorus though), but this is overlooked by Ryan's re-introduction into primary vocal work. Nice bit of guitar as well, keeping it simple and powerful. Not one of the better songs, but still good. "Sixteen" - I'm one of the lucky owners of 'The Young and Defenseless' so hearing this was a delight. A brilliant song, catchy, and some of Kris' and Gav's best work despite it's look of simplicity, and Matt's vocals are amazing in this piece. This song is incredibly catchy and fits in well with the rest of the album. "Aftertaste" - 7 Strings you say, surely not, but indeed they have. A great riffage song and the first time Funeral have moved a way from the classic 'drop C#' tuning for a lower and indeed heavier tone. Despite this it works very well, and with a strong continuing tone from Matt(and Ryan's brief appearances). A tough sounding song, and if your a guitar nut like myself, you'll have fun sussing out its quick riffs. Definitely a song for the musicians. "Spinning Over the Island" - One of the longer songs on the album, and as such has a great deal going on in it. A nice mix of heavy riffs and cleaner tones, with both Ryan and Matt giving themselves a challenge, and you even get a clearer look into the new member of Funeral's (Rich) world, with a good use of Bass harmonics. "Man Alive" - This is Matt's most strenuous song, starting with vocals at a pitch far higher than he has ever produced, it seems at points he's really staining his voice-box, yet it fits into the song pretty well to my surprise, this is also another song where Rich gets to stretch his bass playing. Combined with one of the best Chorus' (however short) on the album, builds a commendable composition. "Owls (Are Watching)" - Building up to the albums release, reviewers have been making this their choice of the album, and although I can't really choose a favourite, it is definitely in the top choices. Starting with a smooth clean sound, this song creates the perfect combination of clean moves, fast riffs in the bridges, and slow, but energetic Chorus' (again great work by Matt and Gav). Overall a fantastic song, such a shame its only 3 Minutes long. "Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't" - another song off the superb 'Young & Defenseless' E.P. and one of the best pieces of riff work Funeral has ever produced. The speed brings back memories of days with 'the Art of American Football', and it does the album justice. Can't wait for the pits with this song on tour. "Medicated" - This could be considered the slow song of the album, and believe me, with the pace this album goes, it's nice to have one. Rich's bass line line gives the song a great foundation to work on, the vocals are easy going through most sections, and adding a "screaming out" chorus, makes the song all the better. Also if you listen carefully during the clean parts, you can hear the string quartet giving the song just that little more atmosphere. "Broken Foundation" - Possibly the most Powerful song on the entire album. Starting with some incredible double-bass moves from Ryan, while singing joint with Matt and giving it their all. The riffs from Kris and Gav are tight and booming, along with Rich working his ass off on the lower tones, you even get sweet guitar solo from kris, which is indeed a rarity. This is another top of the list songs by Funeral, showing that they haven't just gone back to old ways, they have combined old and new, and it's never sounded better. "Welcome Home Armageddon" - The title song, and a spectacular song to round off the album. This song gives a shout out to their best album 'Casually Dressed...', by going out 'Novella'-style, giving you a strong and fast tone in the first half of the song, and ending in the cleaner tones. Matt's vocals in the final section gives us a dynamic send off, and Gav ending the harmony. This is one hell of a way to end an Album.
Lyrics — 9
This Album has a smooth running mix of lyric subject and sounds, the band have done really well on this one. Songs such as 'Owls (Are Watching)', 'Medicated', 'Sixteen' & the title track 'Welcome Home Armageddon', we get the impression that Matt has put a great deal of emotion into his work, and he specifically puts more expression in his vocalisation, in the lines that have meaning that can relate to its listeners.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been listening to this album repeatedly for 2 days, listening to each song in detail (habit of a musician) on a CD streamer on Pledge Music, and to summarise, this album is near perfect. Comparing to Funeral's previous works, its main competitor is 'Casually Dressed...' the album that got them noticed and brought along hundreds of thousands of fans. This album has the capability of bringing thousands more. The album is well produced (both mixing and mastering), the lyrics are well thought out, the guitars are tight, the drums have sped up and even have a progressive style in places. The vocals have been given a good stretch, and with their new bassist putting a little more expression into the mix, it has brought Funeral for a Friend into a new era. As I mentioned above, with favourites like "Broken Foundation', 'Owls (Are Watching)' and 'Sixteen' you can't go wrong, and don't be fooled by 'Front Row Seats...' if you don't like it at first, it does grow on you, and can be very catchy. Overall, a must-have Post Hardcore album and the right step forward by Funeral, and for you already Funeral fans, show it to others! because I'm sure this can bring some different people into the group. Well Done guys, you've made a classic here.