Sound — 10
IFAF is one of those bands I haven't quite kept up with between when they first started till now. I found out about them from their last album release titled "Imperial" came out, and although I did like it at certain times, it just was not enough for me to really get into them. So I'm not quite sure what has happened to them since. I think I heard they released an EP or something along those lines, but anyways screw EPs... This full length album has much more ground to cover. What does this band offer that differs from others? Piano-driven work is over-the-top ridiculous (and I say that in a good way). For piano work, I think they are very comparable to Chiodos, but overall I keep bringing up a sort of Used sound to it from the whole band itself. At first it was difficult to describe them that's pretty much the gist of it, other than that, the unclean vocalist sounds very much like the one from I See Stars, and at certain times he comes off as someone like Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada to me. That being said the force behind this band is very powerful.
Lyrics — 10
Unbelievable. This is not your ordinary post-hardcore band or metalcore band. Whatever you guys classify them as. And it is surprising to see them on a record label such as Rise, who signs most bands that are clearly in it for the attention and money. I won't lie, there are several smaller bands on the label who are not bad, but I don't see anyone on here as good as these guys or Memphis May Fire. I'm also a diehard Of Mice & Men fan, but I know they're not as talented as these two bands. Other than that, I think the label is declining pretty well, but anyhow, to keep talking about IFAF. I think these guys bring in something new not many bands do nowadays, and they actually balance out everything well from instruments to screaming to singing. By the way, Scott Barnes (lead singer) has an amazing voice, but I've seen some live videos and wasn't too impressed. It just didn't seem like he was hitting the high notes as strong. But honestly, lyrically these guys rule. In one of their singles titled "The Calm Before Reform", I can tell how much emotion goes through their lyrics with lines like, "It's the end of the world I wanna hear you scream those lungs out On a pillar I stand, casting a shadow over poisonous gas Put on your mask and let it out! Tonight I see you all in a different light I see the side of you that's begging to stand and fight Hey! Hey! You're already dead men, So give it to me like the anger manifest! Come on! SCREAM! At the top of your f--king lungs!" ....then the chorus takes it to a different light. I think my favorite lines from Barnes in this song would actually have to be, "Tell me, was it everything you thought it would be? Did you meet your goals? Did you fulfill your dreams? It was everything I knew it would be Just a machine dictated by the hands of greed Life of filth, brought to an end by the hand that fed us all Fed us all the federal dream Bit by the hand that feeds" I can honestly almost sense what he's trying to get at here. I think he's talking about the government, referring to the "federal dream", and all they are, are just a system that wants everything, so don't fall for them. I'm not a very good interpreter, but that's just how I saw it. Although, this was my favorite song at first, I don't think it's quite my favorite now. The next track, titled "A Silent Drum", also has a very interesting story behind it. I'm reading lines like, "Oh Mother, the world is wearing down and you're the only thing I need The only reason I can even keep my head below the clouds Without you it's pointless, alone I am helpless The air interrupted by the gases that we sow I can barely recognize your face, oh how it use to glow I cannot stand this f--king world" I think that this message is trying to say how without my mother, I am alone, I am helpless. Again, more lines to talk about how much he cares for her, "All alone here we are, I can feel your heart As it beats a silent drum Now my body's going numb This isn't our end As long as you're near me I'm seeing clearly now Let's live like it's just us We can make the best of the world that they left us Now I'm the one you trust In the age of disgust I can help you conquer anything We'll accomplish everything that comes in the midst of the end of days This is our time to persevere through the greatest evil known to man: The governing hand" As for the next track, I honestly think is my favorite. At first, I wasn't a huge fan of it, but all around it's a fun song to rock your head to. Now, the next track I absolutely love, but I'm not sure if it is my favorite. IFAF is so diverse. Like this is one of their piano-driven songs titled "It All Comes Out (On The Way Down)". "I'm making a promise A promise I'll never break To let you go I need to let you go So try to tell me that I'm always wrong That our love is strong That our love is strong But baby it's just when the lights are off That it all comes out it all comes out Every single time that I'm not with you Baby, I'm alone, baby, I'm alone Let me tell you this place feels empty Doesn't feel like, doesn't feel like home." Honestly, take a look at those lyrics and tell me you would not love to have sex to it *laughs*. Then the next track takes you by surprise with an all piano song. It's so incredible. Unbelievably awesome. In "Dream Catcher", "If I fall asleep, please don't let me dream I keep on wishing that I'll forget those awful things I've seen I'm afraid to fall asleep Dream catcher, won't you save me? From the terror in my mind" ...Although a great song, I really like, it is not one of my favorites, but I do really like those lines specifically. Out of all of the songs on this album, however, I think that "Last Man Stranded" makes the greatest impression. "With your eyes locked dead on mine And your heart open wide You exhaled just one last time: "Don't go, just take me with you" I can't bare to see the blood on your dress Don't leave me alone in this mess So many things that I should've confessed I'm lost inside" ...Great description, my 2nd favorite.
Overall Impression — 9
It's difficult to say my favorites from a perspective of what songs made me say "Wow" and get me thinking. The problem is that they all do this in such different ways, and that's what makes this band unique and special. But overall my favorites would have to be "A Creeping Dose", "Last Man Stranded", "It All Comes Out (On The Way Down)", "The Calm Before Reform", and "A Silent Drum". Amazing work put in to these guys. I really do look forward to their future work. I'll keep popping this album in, because it definitely gave me a great impression. Definitely one of my favorite releases this year behind Memphis May Fire, and Periphery. And I think it's tied to The Ghost Inside, in my opinion, both albums they released this year were both just as good. I definitely would buy this album if it were lost. Anyways, thanks guys for making a fantastic album!