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Released: Mar 14, 2011
Label: Distiller Records (U.K.), Good Fight Music (U.S.)
Number Of Tracks: 12
The album has everything you could possibly want from a Funeral for a Friend album. All the boxes are ticked.
Welcome Home Armageddon
Hammerzeit, on march 11, 2011 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Funeral for a Friend's story is possibly the closest thing I can think of to true musical proof of Darwinism. Like a phoenix from the metaphorical ashes, the band has evolved (through both critical hardship and musical turbulence) both in terms of personnel and sound, gradually building up the momentum started on 2009's greatest hits compilation Your History is Mine and 2010's The Young and Defenceless EP and have returned as good as they ever were, if not better, with their absolute triumph of a 5th album, Welcome Home Armageddon.
The album has everything you could possibly want from a Funeral for a Friend album. All the boxes are ticked. Aggressive melodic metal riffs, all but absent from FFAF's music for too long, make a welcome return to FFAF's sound in both quantity and quality. It's not all blood and thunder though. For every riff as crushing as Front Row Seats to the End of the World's main riff, there is a lead guitar part as beautiful and intricate as Kris Coombs-Roberts motifs on Old Hymns or a bouncy pop punk riff such as the bridge riff on Sixteen. However, WHA is more than just guitar work. FFAF's trademark blend of vocal aggression and melody and Ryan Richards' thunderous drum work also take on a new lease of life. Furthermore, the addition of a bassist (new boy Rich Boucher) who is capable of both providing counter melodies and proving that there is life in post-hardcore bass lines beyond the virtues of the root note has only benefitted the band's sound. However, it is the sheer variety of song writing on display that is most impressive. From the Deftones-esque Front Row Seats to the End of the World, Sprawling epics such as Spinning Over The Island and the visceral melodic hardcore of Aftertaste, Man Alive and Broken Foundation (the latter even featuring a lengthy guitar solo) to the ambience of Medicated and the sheer melodic sensibility of Sixteen, the ground the album covers beggars belief. Whilst there's no one stand out track which is as anthemic as Juneau or Roses for the Dead, there is no weak link on the album either. Every track is as potent and as relevant as the next and each one stands proud against the band's best material. Even the two tracks included from the band's previous EP The Young and Defenceless slot in seamlessly and do nothing but add to the balance of an album which is both mature and inspiring. // 10
Lyrics: Vocally, it's apparent that the band has made quantum leaps forward. The aggression is back. Matt Davies-Kreye sounds just as pissed off as the kid he once was and this is bolstered by drummer Ryan Richards' guttural growls which contribute further to the additional brutality of tracks such as Broken Foundation and Front Row Seats. The melodic focus which dominated the band's last two full lengths isn't completely absent though and tracks like Old Hymns and OwlsAre Watching are loaded with gargantuan yet saccharine vocal hooks. The band has always been strong lyrically and Welcome Home Armageddon is no exception. Lyrics are useless without delivery though and it's this combination of Matt Davies' lyrical poetics and his convincing delivery that make this album a success. // 9
Overall Impression: Perhaps the biggest complement you can pay Welcome Home Armageddon is that it sounds like a band's debut album as supposed to a 10 year old band's 5th opus. WHA is no return to form or the band's so called halcyon days. That's not what this album is about. Whilst it is reminiscent in places of FFAF's critically acclaimed debut full length Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation, the band's sound has been brought up to date and, dare I say it, improved. They have not sounded more relevant for years. Put simply, FFAF are back to their rip-roaring and aggressive yet anthemia best and it looks as if they are here to stay. // 10
Welcome Home Armageddon
mbragg89, on march 11, 2011 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 10
Lyrics: 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. // 9
Overall Impression: 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. // 9
Welcome Home Armageddon
unregistered, on april 05, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: If the world ends next year, then Welcome Home Armageddon will be used as the soundtrack to our Armageddon (pun intended) This is easily FFAF heaviest and fastest album to date. It is also their best album. Everything from the guitars to the drums and vocals is loud, powerful and chaotic! Kris Coombs-Roberts and Gavin Burroug, both do an exceptional job on the guitars with some powerful riffs With drummer Ryan Richards back doing all the screamed vocals, something which we haven't heard a lot of since Casually Dressed... all the way back in 2003. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics fit the album perfectly, but because everything is crafted so well the lyrics fall into place. The lyrics carry some personal emotion and passion, as you've come to expect from FAFF, but also with a hint more aggression. Matthew Davies sounds as good as he ever did. (no surprise there). // 10
Overall Impression: Perhaps some of you thought that 2008's Memory And Humanity just didn't cut it, or perhaps 05's Hours wasn't as memorable, same for 07's Tales Don't Tell Themselves. If that's the case, then your faith in FAFF will be renewed once this album has passed its way through your ears. From opener(s) "This Side Of Brightness"/"Old Hymns", to the closing title-track, this is a star-stellar album and possibly the best album you'll hear all year! Standout's include: Sixteen, Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don't. Owls( Are Watching), and Man Alive.
I Highly recommend this to anyone who loves FFAF, or amazing music in general! // 10
Welcome Home Armageddon
alexander_MCR, on april 11, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: With earthquakes in New Zealand, the growing crisis in Japan and the recent floods in Brazil, Australia it feels like the world is on the edge of disaster! If the world does however, end in 2012, then "Welcome Home Armageddon" will be used as the soundtrack to the end of the world!
FFAF have never sounded better! This is their fastest, heaviest most chaotic album to date. It is also their best album to date. // 10
Lyrics: All the melodic hooks, the catchy choruses, the odd heavy-metal riff or breakdown moment, except it all so polished and defined. With drummer Ryan Richards playing as good as he ever had, he is also back in charge of the screams, which we haven't seen a lot of since "Casually Dressed.." Matthew Davies sounds just as good as well, especially on "Sixteen" and "Man Alive." Guitarists Kris Roberts and Gavin Burrough show off some serious riffage throughout the album, all band members sound equally impressive and at their best. // 10
Overall Impression: For those of you who have lost faith in FFAF, "Welcome Home..." should restore your faith fully!
If you thought 05's "Hours" wasn't memorable or 07's "Tales..." didn't capture that sense of passion and power or 08's "Memory and Humanity" just didn't cut it, well pick this up and fall back in love with Funeral For A Friend!!
Even though its early in the year, this is one of my favorites so far and while there are still some epic new albums out later this year(Thursday- No Deconvolution, Set Your Goals0 Burning At Both Ends or Lamb Of Gods new one)"Welcome Home Armageddon", for the most part could be the best album of the year! DONT MISS THIS! // 10