Sound — 5
Senses Fail's sound is akin an art student who, upon discovering' watercolours, shouts Eureka' and proceeds to proclaim all sorts of nonsense: none of which is taken seriously. Only I'm not sure if this tired effort shall be panned by other reviewers. Why are bands, mindlessly lumped into the emo or post-hardcore genre, given licence to self-reproduce? The Fire sounds like the homogenous reproductive process of some mundane bacteria. It's irrelevant as to how raw' or how emotional' frontman Buddy Nielsen sounds when he screams, or how biting' the riffs and bass lines are: this is a boring band. It makes buying emo records a drawn out, futile process of selection. It could be how the clichd songSaint Anthonyhas screams in all the obvious places, or how Safe House has the same melody as every other emo song out there, but whatever it is, there is no place for this type of effort in music. It is abhorrent that a band should be allowed to put out press releases describing a forthcoming album as intense' and bold', when so much of what Senses Fail record is geared to sell records to an existing fan base. It shouldn't make it past that. That said, we shouldn't discard some of the good production techniques on show.
Lyrics — 4
I've gotta start livin', cause my life's passin' by, go the crooned vocals of Landslide. It's boring, it's redundant, and it certainly isn't intense. Ever since Taking Back Sunday used, If you slit my throat, with my one, last, dying breath, I'd apologise for bleeding on your shirt! I've felt that an emo band should either be more daring, or at least equally as clichd as this. That said, at least there's a positive element to the lyrics described above. I just don't see them gaining any awards for poetry.
Overall Impression — 6
The Fire isn't the metaphorical masterpiece it was meant to be, but an album of transition. If it had been painted accordingly, I wouldn't complain nearly as much. The fact that it has been portrayed as the culmination of Senses Fail's preceding albums riles me, and it should rile you too. Nielsen might call it an album of hope and optimism but, in truth, it sounds more like a band finding their feet after facing the problems they have faced in recent years, such as the departure of several band members. Let's hope that Senses Fail's next album is portrayed as the culmination of the band's preceding albums, because it is so.