Review Summary: The first Voyage is one that many bands in this genre have taken but many of them haven't been this inspired.M
ore times then less Mike Roberts (ToWhatEnd), will sample me off albums from bands that I’ve never heard of. Once again he has single handedly pulled myself out of what seemed like a long hiatus of writing with a new band called In Fear and Faith. In Fear and Faith is a 6 piece band out of San Diego whose roots are composed in metal/post-hardcore vibe. You can feel the brashness through the screams of Cody whose voice I can compare too with a cross between Joshua Scoggin (The Chariot) and Karl Schubach (Misery Signals). In contrast with the profound screams, is the clean vocalist Telle Smith whose voice feels like it can easily fit in with a band like The Receiving End Of Sirens. The backing band to the vocals consists of many layers of sounds in the Voyage EP. Electronics, pianos, chugging guitars, and beat blasting drums are what IFAF have in it’s arsenal. As it feels like many bands these days consist of 5 members or more maybe people will already have their pre-judgments of a another unoriginal post-hardcore band with the cliché scream to sing push-pop business. As many bands might try this, I feel as if IFAF is already a growing product of music that simply feels wholly inspired. Through the Voyage EP, the music feels much like the title itself. As it does come with flaws there is enough treasure struck to even merit to pick this up and give it a shot and it won’t cost a lot of your gold coins either.
The first song “Pack Your Bags, We Leave at Dawn” sets the atmosphere off right on the album concept. It’s soft, subtle, and tense all throughout. As it might feel repetitive since it is an instrumental of electronics and synths, its nevertheless intriguing and interesting. The sounds will sooth you to thinking that you and your closest buds are on a creaky ship with overcast clouds and smoke coming up from the water. Since most bands EP’s feel short and to the point it’s kind of a fresh change to have something that feels so long and drawn out. “There Be Pirates Among These Seas” will awaken your ears and eyes if you felt like the first song lead in was too long. Cody lets off a prolonged scream, with guitars chugging behind him like they’ve been waiting so long to make a sound. Much of the first half will make Underoath lovers feel at home with the screaming and softer parts. A nice catch comes with the synths that always feel active in most of the songs that this band has. The synths I can say sound along the lines of the way Scary Kids Scaring Kids uses their keys and synths. They have a very active part in the back and really layers off everything else well. As the first real song off the Voyage EP is shorter then the fill in during the beginning it kind of leaves the feeling of wanting more.
“The Taste Of Regret” leads right in with piano that futher emphasizes the role that the keyboardist has. The song explodes momentarily with screaming and the clean vocals are at it’s finest hour. The singing will have you singing and the band will have you bobbing your head. The drums mix and match beats while finding points to unleash a double bass fury attack. During 2:10 into the song I feel like the song has such an epic feeling between the chemistry of the clean vocals climaxing with the piano at the same time. Still to the end of the song you will find the guitars galloping with palm mutes and open chords and a lot of strong harmonizing. As the song is winding down it breaks down with a chugging guitars and rhythmic drums. “Corsair” is another electronic beat filler that transitions between songs. This time around it’s only a tad longer then one minute and the sounds can be related to some interludes that Underoath had on “Define The Great Line”. Also on my own personal reference, for some reason it felt like the song could have been used in a movie like Tron. “No Chance” follows the same footsteps as “There Be Pirates Among These Seas”. It’s real easy to see what this band is made of by listening to these two songs because they introduce themselves in a very fast and furious manner and then venture off at the mid-way point/interlude.
This time around the interlude gets very soft like in “The Taste Of Regret” and once again the clean vocals will have you singing along as it’s very easily understandable the lyrics. Even the screaming vocals feel like the most audible lyrics I ever heard a screamer have that wasn’t in a straight Hardcore genre. During the wind down of this song it feels like the song is on it’s way out until a pick scrape to breakdown picks up the pace. These songs probably feel and sound fantastic in a live setting as the tempos and pace change in a schizophrenic like way.
The last two songs off of the Voyage EP seem to be the local fan following favorites. “Silence is Screaming” sounds like it could fit right in with a Receiving End of Sirens album. It’s sing-a-long intro is something new that breaths life in the EP towards the end. The song feels like it was planned out way better then the other softer song “The Taste Of Regret”. Still the screaming compliments the singing well in a balanced contrast. The band continues it’s trend of strong and inviting interludes to the listen with a snare off with climaxed singing. “Live Love Die” is my favorite song off the EP and probably is their most popular song. It comes in with epic fashion of chugging and snyths that feel like mean looking Vikings are hitting the shoreline and ready to kick ass.
The scream phase in feels trade mark Underoath and sounds tremendous. As everything is hitting so hard, a piano layers everything subtly right behind the wall of sound. I feel like the most diversity of sound is found throughout this song and is a little of everything to be offered. “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MY GOD. SOMETHING HAS GONE TERRIBLY WRONG” during the break feels like an earth quake that rattles the listener. Afterwards the listener is greeted to an interlude that might be the catch for the entire song (or at least for the teenage girls). Telle gives his IMOGEN HEAP vocal impression during this interlude with that cool synthy, shaky, effect (I’m a noob when it comes to vocal effects L). It definitely slowed me down and relaxed me though to call it the catch.
There Be Pirates Among These Seas
In Fear and Faith have just signed to Rise Records and are expected their first full length out in November. Anyone who listens to Voyage can easily find out why they were signed and if they weren’t they’d be scratching their heads thinking how such talent could be passed up. The vocals are an even one-two punch. As the screams I know won’t be for everyone as they keep to a heavy monotone, anyone who enjoys the screams of Misery Signals, Norma Jean, or Underoath shouldn’t have the problem. Once again, the clean vocals I know won’t be for everyone but anyone who enjoys singing to a with a tad of whininess are sure to enjoy. For me I enjoy both styles and therefore it’s a big a win. The other big win is the fact that the keyboard plays such a big role in the bands sound. At times it does feel sloppy but most the time it compliments and under layers the music in a nice fashion. The drumming is extremely tight and keeps a nice rhythm. As usual for a band in this genre the bass is barely audible. The guitars I think can really step it up on the next album. I feel like they were afraid to dive in with cool effects but only got their feet wet. During many songs you can hear cool little variations to the end of riffs with reverb and delay. Overall for an EP we have 2 softer songs, 2 faster songs, and 2 fillers. At the end of the day you have to listen to it full out to get the whole piratey effect but if you don’t have the time you can easily listen to the 4 songs and know that this band is growing and will continue setting sail on there voyage.
+ Vocal Package
+ Interesting Synths/Keys
- Two filler tracks on an EP...
In Fear and Faith is:
Mehdi Niroomand - Drums
Tyler McElhaney - Bass/Electronics
Ramin Niroomand - Guitar/Piano
Noah Slifka - Guitar
Tyler "Telle" Smith - Vocals
Cody Anderson - Vocals
Produced by In Fear and Faith.
Tracking engineer Micky at Love Juice Labs, San Diego, CA
Mixed & Mastered by Dave Swanson at Love Juice Labs, Riverside, CA