Renacer review by Senses Fail

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  • Released: Mar 26, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.8 (37 votes)
Senses Fail: Renacer

Sound — 8
You may know a few things about Senses Fail, but sadly there's a chance you may have forgotten them. The listening statistics haven't favoured them greatly since their boom in the mid '00s, and recent output has been rather pale. Compounding their bad luck, founding guitarist Garrett Zablocki left in 2011, leaving them with a new album to write and a new identity to carve in his absence. They've set the bar high - "Renacer" means "to be reborn" in Spanish but on this evidence here there are no dramas. None at all.

New guy Matt Smith has galvanized them. New life is abound in the riffs, and riffs are what drives this album. There are nods to Finch, Every Time I Die and Slipknot, sometimes in the same song, and the way they're handled is unlike anything the band have previously done in any great measure.

"Renacer" is heavier but also more accommodating to new influences. Prior to this their tendency was to go right for the vocal hook and beef the guitars as a sort of pop enabler; this time the approach is more varied, both vocally and in terms of where emphasis is placed. "The Path" is a perfect example, harsh and volatile but cuddling up to artier rock influences in the intermittent vocal melody. Following that is "Canine", a song not a million miles away from crust punk in the beginning, and then "Glass", a rockier track which uses aggressive vocals as a foil to introspective guitars. It's a fascinating study of the riff if that's how you choose to treat it. Remember to read and listen within the parameters of Senses Fail and their often-ridiculed genre and you'll start to get an idea of how refreshing this is.

Lyrics — 7
There is, in fact, improvement in all areas besides lyrics. Buddy Nielsen sounds gruff when he screams and ever-more mature when he sings. The nasally American it seems, have also been phased out. However, one of the most intelligible and most surprising lines from "Glass" is "it doesn't matter if you fall down/get the f--k back up", and that about sums up where they're at lyrically. Those kinds of lines are rare and the serviceable, personal themes are all well and good, but Nielsen hasn't quite kept pace with the musical progression when he's put pen to paper.

Overall Impression — 8
"Renacer" is really quite impressive. You do worry that it may have come too late for some people but here Senses Fail have proven they've got something good going and it's something out of nothing. The album falls just short of capturing high quality consistently, but expect them to improve on that next time - for now, their foot is in the door. Give them another chance or consider your loyalty repaid, because this is quite possibly the best album they've ever made.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's nice to see them heading in a new direction, as much as I love their old stuff, they seemed to always stick in their comfort zone it's good to see them have a go at something a bit more progressive
    The dude's not giving Buddy nearly enough credit lyrically. I honestly feel like this guy just listened to the first half of the album and called it a day.
    I totally agree. I'm not sure how this can have such a positive review and only take one line into consideration. The line he took wasn't even the best sample.
    My personal favorite from them is Still Searching. But this is great! Deffinetely one of the best bands in their genre. And certainly better than a lot of the new guys :p
    I haven't listened to these guys for years and by chance thought I'd take a gander at the review/songs here...all I have to say is wow, pleasantly surprised! I remember watching these guys on the drive-thru records dvd under the extras section, man they have come a long way.
    The Spoon
    Second song reminds me a little of Deftones. I gotta admire these guys for keeping at it after all these years.
    a drummer
    this record honestly surprised me, almost a completely different sounding band. I like it a lot. and yea, it has some hints of Deftones in the choruses
    Well it's definitely a nice step forward from their last album. I like them and still couldn't find it in myself to give that one a second listen.
    Btw, just to point out "They've set the bar high - "Renacer" means "to be reborn" in Spanish but on this evidence here there are no dramas. None at all." Clearly you are missing the point to the meaning of this album as a whole. You need to take a look back. Just because "there are no dramas. None at all.", does not mean this album lyrically is bad. Idk what stands out to you, because I thought this album, lyrically was great.
    Solid album, definatly hitting up buddy's old Hardcore punk roots. Glad i am seeing them tonight.
    The kick drum is sounding awful, atleast they could had decreased its volume
    I had completely forgotten about this band, I liked them when i was 16 but now i'm 22 and what a surprise this was! The lyrics are great and the music is solid from start to finish, another reliable album to stick on my ipod!...Hope its on vinyl.
    The production is really awful on this.. someone just got a compressor and smashed the drums with it. The guitar tone is also awful.
    usually ill agree with you on metalcore bands and whatnot. but i must disagree with you on this. i think this was the production they needed on this and it works very well. listen to their first album, the production was miserable compared to this.
    The guitar tone is reminiscent of classic Metalcore (think Converge). If you don't like the guitar tone, you won't like most classic Metalcore. As for the drums, yeah...I could see that.
    The album is great, but I'm a little disappointed by it. Personally, my favourite albums are LINAWR and The Fire, as well as the War Paint EP. A good album but a bit more complexion and lyrical strength/poignancy would have been better I think.
    Ancient Tombs and Snake Bite are my favorite, but I guess it's because they are closest to classic Senses Fail sound. I didn't like the album at first, but it's definitely growing on me. I still like Buddy's not-so-harsh screaming from the first first 3 albums, but hey, I'm just glad they're still making music.