Review Summary: Metalcore that just works
In every music listeners life there happens to be that album, or albums, that they listen to and like even though it's "not their style" or "generic", or something else that would make another album of this type get tossed to the back burner as mindless drivel. That album for me is Relentless by For the Fallen Dreams. Featuring a plethora of generic metalcore riffs, breakdowns galore, basic drumming, and mostly monotone vocals, I should strongly dislike this album....but strangely I don't. The more I listen to it, the more it sticks to me and I see the little nuances that make it stand out slightly above the metalcore masses.
The first song that really caught my ear was the third track off of Relentless, entitled Nightmares. This track employed the standard heavy verse and chugular guitars, but the chorus features guest vocals from Jeremy from A Day to Remember, and a melodic guitar line that makes it stand out. After hearing this song I went on to discover that the rest of the album is equally as impressive. Although the guitarists in For the Fallen Dreams won't win any shred awards, they lay down heavy riffing, while employing just the right touch of melody when needed. Tracks like Smoke Signals and Before I Regret showcase their knack for catchy and heavy riffing. The drumming in this band is not to the level of say As I Lay Dying or Between the Buried and Me, but the drummer does an adequate job of laying down the groove and creating interesting fills from time to time. The drumming manages to keep the listener interested even without technical prowess. The bass is as usual non-existent, but thats atypical in metalcore. The vocals are truly the most interesting aspect of the album for me. Although they are a mostly monotone growl with only slight variation into the higher ranges, they just seem to work with the music. They seem to mesh with the heavy guitars like a fish to water. There is one instance of the vocalist slipping into that weird talk in-between scream thing that bands like Bring Me the Hairspray employ, but it is a short segment and does not detract from the experience. Clean vocals are only featured on a few songs, like A Plethora Of and the before mentioned Nightmares. They are adequate and are a nice relief from the constant heaviness of Relentless.
Relentless is a unique case for me in that it is a band that is generic, but yet has a sound that appeals to me. This is one of those albums that you cannot explain why you love it, you just love it. It takes ahold of you and does not let go. Everyone has an album like this, and For the Fallen Dream's Relentless happens to be mine.
(I know the review is short, but im gonna get flamed for giving it a 4 anyway.)