Blessthefall
Witness


2.5
average

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (108 Reviews)
September 29th, 2009 | 220 replies | 33,652 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blessthefall adhere to the formula and concoct a passable post-hardcore record.

10 of 15 thought this review was well written

It's pretty difficult to be original these days. In what is only a natural desire to innovate, musicians strive to be inventive with their music. This need to musically digress was the birth of most modern music and the conception of all of our lovely sub-genres. Experimentation is all around: growling girls are fronting grind bands with nospacesintheirbandnames, acoustic folk artists are slapping and tapping their guitar necks in efforts to be percussive and goofball metalheads are making 15-minute songs with hoedowns in them. Bands are constantly focused on discovering new outlandish, musical territories and capitalizing on their unorthodox quirks.

Enter blessthefall, a band that simply will not innovate. Listening to their latest release, 2009's Witness, it's obvious where the band gets their influence from. With the overall sound and composition technique of The Devil Wears Prada, the occasional bombastic Saosin-style chorus and the more-than-familar Inhale Exhale clean vocal delivery, it's obvious that blessthefall aren't the most original band to set foot on the scene. If anything, Witness is a steadfast, refusal to concoct anything original; the band is a-okay with adhering to the blueprints laid out before them by other bands. What then do they focus on if not their own ingenuity? Well, to be fair, blessthefall seem to focus on having fun and being catchy. Witness isn't the most original or intelligent releases of the year (or of the decade), but it at least showcases a band making a passably enjoyable record without injecting synth-breakdowns or animal noises into the songwriting.

Is that good? For the most part, it's debatable.

Unfortunately for blessthefall, Witness doesn't really begin until fifth track 'Hey Baby, Here's That Song You Wanted'. Saosin-reminiscent riffs reverberate shamelessly behind vocalist Beau Bokan's Ryland Raus impersonation throughout the song's verses while the chorus explodes into a climactic, catchy hook: "Hey baby, are you alone tonight?" (yes, while the band won't win awards for lyricism, the melody is infallible). Witness reaches it's musical height on 'We'll Sleep When We're Dead', which starts forebodingly with a lone synth before exploding into a thunderous, tom-beating hook-a-thon, brimming with textures and riffs. Oh, the riffs? They're really not bad at all. Mike Frisby and Eric Lambert keep things varied and relatively interesting guitar-wise with their cutting, concise riffs (see 'You Deserve Nothing and I Hope You Get Less' for a gratuitously-Underoath-y buffet of licks) and make the most tedious parts of the album bearable.

Yet despite a couple stand out songs, the majority of Witness is a blur of same-y post-hardcore that is wholly forgettable, even after repeated listens. Opener/introduction track '2.0' is arguably the most atrocious thing the band has concocted, with it's snarky attitude ("We're not dead! We're not like you said!") and ultimate uselessness. Breakdowns are peppered like popcorn seasoning throughout the record and Warth's harsh vocals are laughable at best -- try not to crack up when he tries to reach bellowing lows that are far beyond his personal range. Tracks like 'God Wears Gucci' and 'What's Let of Me' are aggressive gems stolen right off of Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety and despite having a few pleasant moments littered amongst the tracks, the songs blur the lines between being influenced by a band and ripping off a band. Yet despite all the discrepancies in blessthefall's approach, the most glaring fault with Witness is it's lack of variation. Despite being delightfully scarce in it's attempts to "innovate" (there is one synth introduction or two), it is still a bit too stingy with it's variation. By the end of Witness, the listener has been stranded upon a white-washed, island of wholly familiar post-hardcore and identical breakdowns -- where fun is encouraged but variation is condemned.

Adding all of these elements together makes Witness a fairly polarizing listen. On one hand, the record is a breath of fresh air created by a band that isn't bent on being "intelligent metal" - they just want to make fun, tolerable music. On the other hand, Witness is so incredibly stagnant and repetitive that it's hard to decide whether blessthefall's tendency to be influenced only by other bands and not by themselves is a good thing or not. Ultimately, Witness is okay. It's not terrible, yet it could've been a lot better. You can either thank the band for keeping things simple or grind them into the ground for being unoriginal. Yet you can't deny that the band at least has potential on Witness -- whether they realize this potential or not will likely become evident later on.



Recent reviews by this author
The Oh Hellos Through The Deep, Dark ValleyDan Mangan Oh Fortune
The Decemberists Long Live the KingThe Reign Of Kindo Rhythm, Chord & Melody
Antoine Dufour ConvergencesThe Head And The Heart The Head And The Heart
user ratings (595)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Chris Higgins (3.5)
Blessthefall's second studio release is surprising, a vast improvement over their previous record....

peterbraa (3.5)
If no one else can Beau Bokan!...

Taylor Silverthorne (3)
"Witness" doesn't break any new ground, but is a solid release from a 2 year hiatus. It has somethin...

TTrent4 (4.5)
blessthefall comes back after a two year break to show what they are capable of. To say the least, i...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
September 29th 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Stream: http://www.myspace.com/blessthefall

It's been a while since a 5-paragrapher and writer's block rages on!

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2009



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

some people write to fucking fast.... good review for a mediocre cd

Waior
September 29th 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Context: The Devil Wears Prada's latest album is a 2.5

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2009



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well ifyou put it that way...

shortone323
September 29th 2009



883 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Review is good, as usual. Kind of suprised you gave this a three. I've liked what I've listnened to so far, but I have to do it with headphones it to actually get a feel for it.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 29th 2009



5784 Comments


Good review. Pos'd.

Though I must say you seem to overstate the point that the album is not 'great or terrible, but good' just a little bit.


Douglas
September 29th 2009



9061 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Each song sounds the same same same same

Douglas
September 29th 2009



9061 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Doh double post

LisbonGirls
September 29th 2009



832 Comments


Inhale Exhale clean vocal delivery


I think I might actually listen to this now.

marksellsuswallets
September 29th 2009



4848 Comments


Reads ridiculously like a 2.5 Caleb...album kind of sucks from what I've chosen to hear.

Waior
September 29th 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Think I can get away with a rating drop?

Douglas
September 29th 2009



9061 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Oh risk-a-y but, yes i'd think you could.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2009



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yes...but you weren't asking me were you?

LisbonGirls
September 29th 2009



832 Comments


Stick by ur rating pussy ;)

marksellsuswallets
September 29th 2009



4848 Comments


You say bad things about it and all the good things are followed up with a comment on how even though it's decent it's still largely a rip-off of more popular bands within the scene so yeah not only could you get away with it, I feel it's kind of called for...haha.

Waior
September 29th 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Too late, Lisbon.

I'm still shocked I wrote this much about... well, any album.

chocola
September 29th 2009



266 Comments


this wasnt too impressive.. sounds like a shitty version of tdwp

Douglas
September 29th 2009



9061 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Take a leaf out of my book... 3 paragraphs is the way to go!

Review reads fine though, even if some people will tl;dr

a shitty version of tdwp


There is a good version?

chocola
September 29th 2009



266 Comments


cant wait for you to review the new tfot...

chocola
September 29th 2009



266 Comments


There is a good version?

shittier*



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy