Review Summary: While the album shows the bands potential, they miss alot of marks that would make this an unforgettable debut album.
It seems to be the latest trend to combine pop-punk and post-hardcore together. While bands like A Day to Remember take over the scene with their fun and catchy style of combining the two genre’s together. Most bands fall to the fact that they don’t understand either genre. They look up to much to band’s like A Day to Remember and say to themselves, “I want to be just like them”. Thinking that they can bring out fans because they sound like the latest trend is simply a ridiculous statement. Well, we all learn at some point the difference between wrong and right. Bands like A Hero’s Fate, hailing from Orlando, Florida, manage to capture the two genre’s through their debut album "Another Knight Alone".
The band doesn’t try to jam the two sounds together in their individual songs, but split them from track to track. One song may express the band’s heavier side, featuring the rare screams from vocalist Brian Frank and listen worthy breakdowns. However, on the next track, we simply find ourselves captured in the band’s catchier side, singing along with every listen. Now I know that there are so many bands out there that do this well, and A Hero’s Fate is one of them. While nothing on this track is perfect, this is a debut album that is sure to gain them a large fan base and a lot of positive feedback.
“Ron Is Anthrax Proof” works as an opening track for the album, just because it’s so damn catchy. Marked as the bands first single, it’s one of the more well known tracks off of the album. Many big fans of the post-hardcore genre can spot little cliché’s here and there throughout the record, but they can easily be pushed aside simply because of the bands execution. Leading into “Flight 286”, we begin to hear what could be one of the best tracks on the album. Though it seems as if the song deals with some type of attack on a plane, when broken down deeper it tells the story of being trapped in a situation you just can’t escape. “She boarded the plane/and she closed her eyes/little did she know this was her demise/were so high up/the ground is out of sight/murders accomplished with things done right” opens the song, and right away we can notice the metaphor meant to reach the listener.
While this song manages to be a stand out lyrically, it’s a catchy tune that grabbed my attention slightly more than anything else heard on the record. “Like Bulls In A China shop” is the first song on the record that we are introduced to vocalist Brian Frank’s screaming abilities. He’s not horrible, but singing seems to be his specialty. He has a great voice, but no real flexibility, or barely any that I was able to hear. His screams are just average, they don’t stand out above any regular post-hardcore screaming vocalist. While guitarist’s Blake and Johnny seem to stay simple most of the time, their simplicity is catchy and works a majority of the time.
At this point in the album, we seem to hit a bit of a filler spot. While “Chrono Logic” and “Master of Puppets” equal out to be fun and somewhat catchy listens, they just seem to take up time. As a rebound though, “Leroy, King of the Dolphins” starts and shows the extremely fun and catchy sound that the band can create. The chorus is fun to sing along to and the lyrics are easy to relate to. As mentioned before, the band switches up style’s with each different song, “Return of the Seawolf” returns right back to the heavier side of the band. There are no awkward transitions though, the change in sound fits and doesn’t feel to out of place. “The Wand Makes the Wizard” features a catchy chorus, while “She’s Cute (But Probably Underage)” lacks any real foundation.
What would an album be without a thoughtful and memorable acoustic song? This is where “Bye Bye Blackbird” fits in, and it’s the perfect acoustic song to throw in at this point in the album. Though the lyrics aren’t anything to original and the sound isn’t anything to new or exciting, but it’s an effective lost love song. “The tears fall from your eyes/cause these flood waters to rise to my knees/in attempt to drown out the only sound escaping from my lungs ‘I love you’” works heavily as a chorus and will catch the attention of any teenager looking for a good song to listen to after a harsh breakup. To pick up everything though, the band closes with “Tales of a Mountain Lion”, that manages to bring back that heavier sound and end the album with a bang. I didn’t find the song really grabbing my attention, but it was a simple and somewhat effective way to close out the album.
Sure, this band is truly far from perfect. That’s the great thing about a debut album though, they get to hear the positive (or negative) feedback and learn from it. This band has a lot to improve on, but they understand music and know the sound they’re going for, something a lot of bands now-a-days lack. A Hero’s Fate is surely a band worth watching out for, and when they do enter that studio again hopefully they put the past mistakes behind and come out stronger than ever. This album works, and I give the band a lot of props for what they’ve done with this album. Let’s all hope for better days and in the meantime enjoy Another Knight Alone" for what it is, a listen worthy debut from a band with so much potential.