Review Summary: Symphonies suffers from attempting to stretch an idea too far.
California’s In Fear And Faith have come a long way since their inception in 2006. Quickly snapped up by Rise Records and landing at number four on the U.S Top Heatseekers chart with last years second full length 'Imperial', the band have recently solidified their line-up after harsh vocalist Cody Anderson left the fold. As Scott Barnes steps up to the plate to handle all singing duties, it is his ability that, unfortunately, is the sole shining attribute to the lacklustre 'Symphonies' EP.
Re-working songs from the outfits previous releases, these renditions modify the tracks with a orchestral, symphonic sound, effectively removing the muscle of their former instrumentation. Although, as largely redundant intro Novus Initum fades and first song proper Bones kicks into action, it seems apparent that this idea has been a success. Barnes’s cleans soar and he bellows his screams with a assured conviction, yet as the E.P continues it quickly becomes clear there is little else to hold your attention.
Ultimately, the problem is the songwriting. When stripped down, a tracks merit is fully revealed as its basic components are left alone to prove their worth, something that has proved dangerous for In Fear And Faith as without the ferocity of the guitars to juxtapose with the more melodic elements, the songs simply aren’t strong enough to hold up on their own. Coupled with this is the fact that, over the space of only seven tracks, the songs rapidly blend into each other as the constant tinkling piano lines and electronic flourishes make for an extremely insipid listen that even a decent vocal performance cannot save.
'Symphonies' suffers from attempting to stretch an idea too far. After the initial pleasant impact of Bones, the whole objective for the release had already been accomplished, meaning that the remainder of the E.P only serves to rehash the same idea, meaning that, for anyone but long time fans only, Symphonies is a rather tedious listen.