For the Fallen Dreams
Back Burner


2.5
average

Review

by Steven Spedding USER (17 Reviews)
May 25th, 2011 | 101 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stuck in a rut...

Since bursting onto the metalcore scene in 2003, Michigan’s melodic hardcore worshipping For The Fallen Dreams has established a sound often compared to that of their more acclaimed counterparts Misery Signals. The bright guitar melodies and raw, emotive vocals of debut album Changes won the band a legion of supporters who bought into the idea of a return for raw melodic hardcore. In reality For The Fallen Dreams’ sound owes more thanks to metalcore than it does melodic hardcore, evidenced by the heavy, down tuned rhythm sections which provide the base for the ambient guitar leads the band has been famed for. On the back of their debut "Changes", For The Fallen Dreams' global profile was raised very quickly thanks to extensive touring both in the States and in Europe. Despite the departure of vocalist Chad Ruhlig, (who went on to form metalcore band Legend) For The Fallen Dreams followed up with the more coherently put together sophomore “Relentless”. Dylan Richter was brought in as Ruhlig’s replacement prior to the release of “Relentless” and obviously added a bit of the ‘X Factor’ they had previously been missing. It was with this release that For The Fallen Dreams found a sound distinguishable from their peers.

Unfortunately for the band their struggles only seemed to mount up following the release of “Relentless”. Two further members left the band under a cloud, one of which was drummer and principle songwriter Andrew Tkaczyk. A mixture of unresolved issues involving the departed band members and not replacing these members full time put the band’s long term future in jeopardy and consequently much of the lyrical content of new album “Back Burner” is concentrated on these struggles. Much has been made of this album being a ‘make or break’ release for the band when taking into account all that had happened but the result has yielded neither outcome in all honesty.

The absence of Tkaczyk is altogether more evident in Back Burner as the coherence and complexity of Relentless has been traded out for A Day To Remember esque jun-tastic verses and repeated cleanly sung choruses. Ironically, A Day To Remember’s Tom Denney was assigned production and mixing responsibilities and this has not translated well to For The Fallen Dreams' sound. In order to support the song writing shift there has been a greater emphasis put on clean vocals in Back Burner. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing had the clean vocals been sung well or dare I say it produced well. Unfortunately, they seem to have been completely mismanaged and thus the vocal inconsistencies make Back Burner almost unlistenable at times. Not befitting of the trend however is the vocal performance of Richter whose performance is both passionate and compelling. His monotonous style of low pitch growling wore a little thin on Relentless but this has been improved upon significantly in Back Burner. In great contrast to the cleans, the raw aggression of the screamed vocals has been polished up nicely in the studio and works well with the angsty lyrics of Back Burner.

There has been no let up in the technicality of musicianship in Back Burner, still present are the ultra melodic riffs of old, infact with a greater abundance. Still present however is an abundance of uninspired breakdowns, which are rarely built up properly. Clocking in at something like a breakdown every minute and a half, For The Fallen Dreams rarely deviate from what has become the norm with modern metalcore. This meanwhile the tasteful guitar lines of “Yellow” and “My Anthem-Like Symphony” are drowned out by yet more woeful clean vocals. It is no coincidence that the only song without clean vocals, album closer “Fist Fight” is the outstanding track on Back Burner.

It is obvious the band has the tools to succeed but they seemingly have no idea how to use them anymore. Ultimately, the glimpses of good are few and far between. Are there harder times still ahead of For The Fallen Dreams? On this evidence, yes there are.

Recommended songs:
Fist Fight
Yellow
Say What You Will



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2.7
average
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Comments:Add a Comment 
sspedding
May 25th 2011


4780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Reads a bit clunky. Will sort out these problems as soon as my mind has reformed from its vegetated state.

Digging: Devil Sold His Soul - Belong ? Betray

bloc
May 25th 2011


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I AM DISAPPOINT

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

sspedding
May 25th 2011


4780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

yeah tres

pmmets07
May 25th 2011


5913 Comments


fuck rise, fuck junz

MacWeener
May 25th 2011


288 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

couldn't be more right about this album.

matthewebster
May 25th 2011


49 Comments


Strange Faces sounds exactly like Devil's Advocate by Upon a Burning Body.
This album might need to grow on me.

HenchmanOfSanta
May 25th 2011


1902 Comments


Don't know why you called Misery Signals "American counterparts" considering FtFD are American too. Unless you meant Canadian counterparts.

sspedding
May 25th 2011


4780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

yeah that doesnt make sense, you are right.

AfterTheBreakdown
May 25th 2011


7166 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I liked how you went into depth about the bands changes and such. Its important to know because two or more lineup changes can change a band a lot especially with new vocals.

Apollo
May 25th 2011


10362 Comments


you write well

POS

asaf
May 26th 2011


888 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i think the album is decent. certainly the worse of all three but still a good addition to the catalogue. anything that's missing here can quickly be found on legend's tph which came out a week ago.

RobotJesus
May 26th 2011


432 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review very well written all around pos'd for sure. And yea its a decent album the last 3 songs on the album are the best imo.

OneMoreRoland
May 26th 2011


1053 Comments


Let Go is awesomely heavy. Strange Faces is probably the best song here...

snerefedsav
May 26th 2011


849 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sucks that strange faces isn't even on the album but was better than all of the songs that are on it. i dunno how i feel about this yet. somewhere between 2.5 and 3. i actually like ftfd but this change was very disappointing.

also, this kind of reminds me of how from a second story window changed their sound when clean vocals became really prevalent, except that conversations was better executed than this. just my 2 cents. maybe i'm going crazy

Satellite
May 26th 2011


20826 Comments


why is there an apostrophe at the end of the band name in the sum?

Spec
May 26th 2011


27271 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I was expecting this to be alright. *sigh

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem

botb
May 26th 2011


9757 Comments


nah changes was the last thing worth listening to they'll ever put out i think

Digging: Solstafir - tta

sspedding
May 26th 2011


4780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

do you not at least like 'December Everyday' off Relentless?

2muchket!
May 26th 2011


900 Comments


Relentless was average, this is so, so, SO poorly executed though, it really is garbage. Shame cos
Changes was excellent.

Omgpoop8578
May 26th 2011


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"Let Go" has no cleans.....



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