In Fear and Faith
Imperial


1.5
very poor

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
June 14th, 2010 | 66 replies | 21,322 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Choked by the very chains that bind you

Is it just me, or does this year’s Imperial make In Fear and Faith out to be a band that’s in a little too much debt? Here’s another crew that’s making the mix-and-match metalcore/post-hardcore stand, taking on the music industry in general and record labels alike, preaching to a tried and retried audience that’s, surprisingly, against all odds, still able to lend a ready ear to their pleas – I mean, that is, their music. Yes, baffling isn’t it? No matter how many scream-to-clean breakdown-breakups – might as well throw in all the electronic, symphonic, and crunk mixes that the kids love to experiment around with these days as well - take the far right, circa the skaters’ half-pipe stage at Warped Tour, there’s always, always someone - nay, actual thousands - that will embrace a new melodic metalcore/post-hardcore band with open arms. And yet many of us, despite the obvious explanation, still wonder why so many bands like this, at least going by the sound of their music, take similar paths amongst and beside each other. Is it really so hard to figure out?

In all actuality, it’s really easy. You see, bands like In Fear and Faith were bound by the earlier work of their debtors the very instant they signed a deal with a record label – and, surprisingly, many are content in bondage. In Fear and Faith's debut full-length, Your World On Fire, revealed a band in 2009 that was easily shackled and bound, quickly evidenced in just the work of their singers: Cody Anderson is as obnoxious in his harsh vocals as a screaming female cat is in its labor, and the cleans, by way of Scott Barnes, are the seemingly perfect, imperfect contrast to the prior – i.e. the exact, precise opposite of what you would want to hear after a chalkboard scraper from Anderson: a guy who croons melodically as if spelunking through his own nose. A season of touring – nay, not even a year - hasn’t done much to improve either singer’s performance, unfortunately. On Imperial, the band’s sense of melody is drowned and flushed down the toilet by way of horrid vocal tones and poorly implemented transitions to and from each respective vocalist, sounding as if the two haven’t had all that much stage time together in the past year. This proves to really be a shame on closer inspection of the songs, actually, as second cut “Bones” and the primarily piano-led “Heavy Lies The Crown” are clear evidence that the band know how to write a catchy tune; apparently, they just don’t know how to sing one just yet.

The bills keep on piling up for In Fear and Death, and sadly, instrumentally the band are way in over their heads with unpaid debt. The band use these despicable, faux-feeling symphonics to fill in the many void spaces to be found on Imperial, as they did on Your World On Fire before it. To contextualize things, the cringe worthy strings can be likened to indie-rockers Modest Mouse with an ever-increasing level of commercialism, Linkin Park with a higher ballad count on their next album, and Cradle of Filth, well, basically, with just more tumultuous garbage next time around. “Eleventwentyfour” climaxes the ruin of Imperial: a pseudo-classical piano piece enters us into the repetitive racket of guitarists Ramin Niroomand and Noah Slifka on next track, “Afterthought” – oh boy, pun time – baking and frying in their monotonous chord progressions, all before being beat back into the background once Barnes takes the stage with his “I’ll be gone” cleanly sung garbage - frankly, I’m not really sure if I’m relieved with the change in the singer's prominence in the mix or not. Now, I’m not one to sympathize with Blessthefall, much less Asking Alexandria, much, much less Attack Attack!, but something has to be said about this electronica metalcore/post-hardcore aping that In Fear and Faith are doing here on Imperial. The results were mildly distracting to God-awful with those other bands; do you really want to know how bad it sounds on this album? I didn't think so.

Choked by the very chains that bind you – is this not what seems to have happened to In Fear and Faith? The band are lost in the midst of their own blender concoction; the contents of which are all but stolen from bigger, tougher dogs – and do you know what? The Californian sextet are puzzingly content with that, to pick and pull from whomever they choose for their sound: post-hardcore or metalcore, electronic or symphonic, horrible singer or more horrible singer. Unfortunately, however, In Fear and Faith just don’t have the tools to make a competent reiteration of their own for Imperial. Anderson and Barnes oscillate between sub-par to horrible vocal performances; the guitarists play middle-of-the-breakdown, dime-a-dozen fare; and the symphonic and the electronic inclusions to the music sound suffocating, pretentiously annoying, and are certainly awkward in their placing. Mix-and-match metalcore has had better days; In Fear and Faith’s debtors have made better albums; and, honestly, it’s about time these guys got what’s been coming to them. Time to pay up, boys, and don't you dare give us another album like Imperial again.



Recent reviews by this author
There Will Be Fireworks The Dark, Dark BrightBring Me the Horizon Sempiternal
As I Lay Dying AwakenedTim Hecker Harmony in Ultraviolet
Thousand Foot Krutch The End Is Where We BeginOwen I Do Perceive
user ratings (201)
Chart.
2.9
good
other reviews of this album
Steven Spedding (2.5)
In Fear and Faith's engine stalls....

Mary Paultese (3)
Despite lyrical shortcomings and some raw sounding clean vocals, In Fear and Faith's second release ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jonathan10
June 14th 2010



760 Comments


Brilliant review, pos

bloc
June 14th 2010



34752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Very disappointing album

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Ire
June 14th 2010



41753 Comments


good review

bloc

sspedding
June 14th 2010



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pretty great review, hope i disagree with you when i get round to listening to this. Your World On Fire had some superb tracks.

Ponton
Emeritus
June 14th 2010



5790 Comments


Thanks guys, and you're likely to enjoy this if you liked Your World On Fire , sspedding

Nagrarok
June 14th 2010



8171 Comments


What's up with all the negativity lately Jared?

My vote will be positive though.

edtanguma
June 14th 2010



2 Comments


Terrible review, I'm not defending just this album itself as I haven't been able to fully judge it yet, but the reviewer definitely comes across as someone with a distaste for the entire hardcore genre and seems to give a very very bias opinion.

sspedding
June 14th 2010



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

fair play, i haven't been overly keen on the songs they streamed before the album's release so I am not too sure how this is going
to go.

Ponton
Emeritus
June 14th 2010



5790 Comments


Terrible review, I'm not defending just this album itself as I haven't been able to fully judge it yet, but the reviewer definitely comes across as someone with a distaste for the entire hardcore genre and seems to give a very very bias opinion.


I'm sorry you do not like my review, ed, and I respect your opinion.

Unfortunately, this band is not in the hardcore genre, though, but on that note, I do not dislike all of post-hardcore, metalcore, and yes, hardcore as you say I do. A lot of the bands may bother me, but I certainly enjoy different groups.

If you would like to write a review for this album, I would enjoy reading it and would respect it as your opinion, with whatever bias that may entail, as you will find that everyone, everyone is biased to some degree.

Mordecai.
June 14th 2010



8277 Comments


gay

edtanguma
June 14th 2010



2 Comments


Thank you for responding, I agree and see where you are coming from, I just wouldn't normally write a review within a genre I wasn't fond of. Though I suppose everyone is biased to a degree, some are of course more practiced as to what to look for, talent wise. You do seem at least fairly practiced while I'm looking through your other reviews. As far as imperial itself I'm currently listening to the whole of it now. It definitely does have ups and downs. I may write a review in the recent future.

Enotron
June 14th 2010



7695 Comments


lol jared you mad polite, sweet review, what's up with all the negative metal reviews(well this and mychildren mybride).

Ponton
Emeritus
June 14th 2010



5790 Comments


What's up with all the negativity lately Jared?


It's much appreciated, Nag, and I guess it's just my luck recently to pick out albums to review on the release schedule that I turn out not liking.

what's up with all the negative metal reviews(well this and mychildren mybride).


They're both fairly big albums, and the rest of what was on the schedule, especially for this week, didn't seem to interest me all that much, I guess. Thanks btw.

Thank you for responding, I agree and see where you are coming from, I just wouldn't normally write a review within a genre I wasn't fond of. Though I suppose everyone is biased to a degree, some are of course more practiced as to what to look for, talent wise. You do seem at least fairly practiced while I'm looking through your other reviews. As far as imperial itself I'm currently listening to the whole of it now. It definitely does have ups and downs. I may write a review in the recent future.


Thank you for understanding, and I can see what you're saying. I don't consider myself to be professional in the least, if that means anything, and most of the stuff I pick to review is just out of some interest I have of it and to help with sputnik's release calendar. I will continue to work on it, though, and hopefully improve with time.




Shadein
June 14th 2010



337 Comments


This can't be that bad

tapitforever
June 14th 2010



1243 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review but im really liking this album so far, only given it a couple spins though

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 14th 2010



17204 Comments


These guy's started out with some real promise. I have a hard time believing that they've fallen this low.

shortone323
June 14th 2010



883 Comments


Usually I love your reviews, but I'm not so sure about this one. What I've heard from this record sounds good, and it seemed to be better than their last one. Guess it's just a difference in opinion.

And, while I wouldn't argue that In Fear and Faith is revolutionary, I'm pretty sure they were doing the "electronica metalcore/ post hardcore" thing before those other bands you listed were. When Voyage(their EP) was released the keyboard/synth trend was really just catching on. Attack Attack! is the most well known of those bands and they didn't even release an album until a year after Voyage was out.

I'm actually kind of tempted to review this now, even though I haven't written a review in a really long time.



Ponton
Emeritus
June 14th 2010



5790 Comments


I'll have to mildly disagree. While I agree on Attack Attack to an extent, even though they were around in 2005 - the same year In Fear and Faith came together - the other bands I listed were around before In Fear And Faith were making music, doing this kind of thing.



Bitchfork
June 14th 2010



7584 Comments


Yes album is sooo bad.

pmmets07
June 14th 2010



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Am I missing something here? I've listened to the album about 5 times already and I'm totally digging it... I thought they've improved in almost every aspect since YWOF. Plus the production quality is real good.



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 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy