Envy
All the Footprints You've Ever Left...


4.5
superb

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
April 11th, 2011 | 72 replies | 8,300 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beautiful and chaotic, "All The Footprints You've Ever Left And The Fear Expecting Ahead" is a definitive album, and one which seamlessly combines everything that is and was Envy.

Often hailed as Japan’s premier emotional hardcore act, Envy have enjoyed an illustrious career. Finding a massive following outside their native country, Envy have helped shape and inspire an entire sub-genre. One of the trail-blazers of “post-rock tinged screamo,” the band laid the ground for acts such as Heaven in Her Arms, Sed non Satiata, and Mesa Verde. Yet the band wasn’t always so revered, as it took years of tinkering with their sound to finally get it right. And get it right they did, as their fourth effort was the first to display the promise they had been showing, and ultimately, would go down as one of their finest moments.

All The Footprints You’ve Ever Left And The Fear Expecting Ahead realizes a perfect balance between sheer beauty and absolute chaos; an album full of hope, caught in a maelstrom that twists and misshapes, adding desperation and fury to an otherwise uplifting work. Being the de facto representation of everything Envy has been over the course of their illustrious career, All The Footprints… blends the unrefined hardcore ferocity of their early works (Breathing And Dying In This Place), and the heavily post-rock influenced sound that dominates what they have since become. The album is a cross roads of sorts--a halfway point in the evolution of the band and their sound. For this, All The Footprints… manages to be the definitive work of Envy.

At nearly fifty minutes in length, the album is quite a beast , packing in loads of musical content without a second of wasted space or filler. It’s beautifully crafted, with the production giving a raw feel when needed, and softening up a bit at just the right moments. The ebb and flow that has since become a staple of the band is in full swing here, with muddy riffs giving way to soaring melodies and harmonies. What makes these moments so wonderful is the stark contrast of Tetsuya Fukagawa’s vocals to the rest of the band, as they play uplifting passages accompanied by his emotive and impassioned wails. It’s polarizing to say the least, but it sounds perfect together, even with Fukagawa’s limited vocal range. He sounds more emotional and fierce than any vocalist out there, but at times it feels like he only has one dynamic level and one pitch. The rest of the band, however, more than makes up for this, with the guitarists in particular really stealing the show. At times dark, while at others blissfully light, the two truly know how to set a mood and keep things interestingly complex.

Yet even with an outstanding band on display, it is the songwriting that really shines here. With a pleasant mix of styles, All The Footprints… stands out as one of Envy’s most varied albums. Filled with copious amounts of punk/hardcore inspired tracks, the album moves at a furious pace. Opening with the dark and ominous “Zero,” the record quickly erupts into a frenzied and chaotic affair, with “Farwell to Words” featuring Fukagawa’s emotive shrieks and Dairoku Seki’s clamoring percussion. From here on out, the album is a series of highs and lows, with lulling melodies being sprinkled about. What’s most impressive here is that Envy have successfully created a record full of standouts, full of impassioned anthems and gut wrenching tracks. “Lies, and Release From Silence,” “Mystery and Peace,” and “A Cage it Falls Into” are each filled with unforgettable moments, with subtle builds and explosive climaxes really displaying the power that the band can create. The closer, “Your Shoes And The World To Come” at eight minutes is the longest piece, and easily the most daunting. With a several minute build, the track errupts into a raw and aggressive bout of intensity, until it quietly fades into a soothing acoustic outro.

A decade ago Envy set a standard, and one which they have yet to hit again. Combining everything that they were, and everything that they were to become, the band struck gold, creating one of the most unforgettable emo/post-hardcore records of the last decade. All The Footprints… is a truly spectacular piece of work; and album that for those who embrace it, will find it impossible to forget.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
April 12th 2011



10585 Comments


Haven't written in awhile, so why not throw out an overly verbose, hyperbolic fanboy review? Been meaning to do this for awhile because this album is incredible.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2011



23798 Comments


really really nice review. I'm a casual fan of the band, I think I remember liking this, but I should give it a closer listen.

Captain North
April 12th 2011



6779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, although I don't hear anger and fury in this album.

Rev
April 12th 2011



9379 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review man! Album is beyond awesome

bbaked
April 12th 2011



154 Comments


who dat in the avatar rev



Xenophanes
Emeritus
April 12th 2011



10585 Comments


I mostly used it to describe his vocals, which I guess they don't really sound too angry, but I was at a loss in how to describe them.

Thanks guys!

Rev
April 12th 2011



9379 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

who dat in the avatar rev

Ritsu from K-ON


Xeno, I'm still confused as to why you're not a contributor yet

Xenophanes
Emeritus
April 12th 2011



10585 Comments


Thanks, Rev, that sentiment means a lot to me : ) I enjoy writing reviews, letting off steam, etc., so as a hobby, it makes me feel completely fulfilled, regardless of my "tag."

balcaen
April 12th 2011



3183 Comments


perfect review, xeno. they don't make skramz like this anymore, unfortunately. pff

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2011



17196 Comments


yes they do.

balcaen
April 12th 2011



3183 Comments


i'm exaggerating, i guess. i've thoroughly enjoyed tons of stuff release later than this (last year's sed non satiata anyone?!?).
it's the first real album of the genre that i was actually really touched by though. i get a little enthusiastic

iFghtffyrdmns
April 12th 2011



7047 Comments


fantastic review Eli...you and pizza are both sneaking up on that illustrious number 100 now aren't you

quite a mouthful of an album name too, sheeeesh

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2011



7140 Comments


Solid review; clearly, you were never really away =)

Minor niggle: At nearly fifty minutes in length, the album is quite a beast ,

Drop the space after the comma.

Aside from that, solid review. I would agree with you that the piece comes across as quite fanboyish (especially towards the end), but I really like the thorough, informative style of the opening two paragraphs. Those alone are worth a pos. Keep writing Cheno - we all miss our resident Sputnik criminal ;)

qwe3
April 12th 2011



21353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

perfect review, xeno. they don't make skramz like this anymore, unfortunately.


there have been so many albums released in the past ten years that easily rival or surpass this album

Tyrael
April 12th 2011



20728 Comments


Amazing review Xeno, I am stunned. Pos.

witchxrapist
April 12th 2011



10933 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review indeed.

For the longest time this was my favorite Envy, not I'm hung up between Abyssal and their splits with Jesu and Yahet Kotto/This Machine Kills.

Digging: Stray From the Path - Our Oceania

AbyssalCreation
April 12th 2011



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review.Second favorite Envy right behind A Dead Sinking Story.

witchxrapist
April 12th 2011



10933 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

jeremy you high?

edit: fuck your ninja edit darkness

AbyssalCreation
April 12th 2011



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ha ha yeah I fucked up and no I am unfortunately not.

ThePac
April 12th 2011



219 Comments


Such a solid album



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