Review Summary: Welcome Home Armageddon finds the boys from Wales in fine form and recovery.
It's been a tumultuous last few years for the boys from Wales. A few lineup changes, and a couple underwhelming (though decent) LP's in Tales Don't Tell Themselves, and Memory and Humanity. But on FFAF's "Greatest Hits" package, there were 4 solid, if not impressive, songs, including "Wrench" and "Captains Of Industry". "Wrench", especially, brought back more of the aggressive vocals that Funeral For a Friend was known for. The late 2010 EP "The Young and Defenceless" was even better, and had a number of fans abuzz around FFaF, again.
From the moment you hear first single (and the accompanying music video) for "Front Row Seats To The End Of The World" you'll notice that lyrically, Funeral For a Friend has improved quite a bit. Needless to say, this song (and Broken Foundation) are two of the songs that musically "punch you in the throat".
"I’ve tried to write something meaningful but i feel I’ve lost my stride,
Can’t think of anything witty or flattering tonight,
You lie to me and I’m getting bored of this stupid conversation,
It’s no ***ing interrogation so quit while you’re behind."
The above example is just one of FFaF's improvements as a band. Another thing you'll notice about Welcome Home Armageddon, is the fact that Kris, the guitarist, has been finally let loose here, especially on tracks like "Broken Foundation" (which features a FILTHY guitar solo midway through the song) and "Spinning Over the Island". And album closer/title track "Welcome Home Armageddon" features a very catchy guitar opening riff in the first 15 seconds. Needless to say, if you're a guitarist, this is going to be a fun album to emulate. A great solo, and great riffs, to be sure, especially the menacing, heavy riff in the first minute of "Front Row Seats".
The drumming (and album production in general) sounds improved from their previous album. Whether it's rapid-fire double bass pedals in "Broken Foundation" or the gentle backbeats in "Owls Are Watching", there's a good amount of variety here. The drummer's screaming is also quite good, and a definite highlight of the album.
Matt Davies' vocals are solid here, though occasionally a weakpoint here. Overall solid, though, with the songs "Medicated", "Front Row", and "Aftertaste" being some of Matt's highlights.
Speaking of "Aftertaste", it may very well be the catchiest song on this album. The guitar work by Kris is especially impressive here, with a very, very catchy riff carrying this song all the way through, along with excellent drum work, as usual.
Welcome Home Armageddon has very few flaws, however, I feel that catchy single "Serpents In Solitude" should have been placed on this album, instead of "Sixteen". "Sixteen" isn't a bad song, but it's probably my least favorite here.
The entire album is right in between solid and spectacular for me, if there can be such a spectrum.
It's safe to say, Funeral For a Friend is back, in fine form and recovering nicely.
Songs to check out: Broken Foundation, Aftertaste, Front Row Seats...