Review Summary: Potential wasted.
A few years ago A Hero A Fake released Let Oceans Lie. It was a great album, mediocre vocals aside. The guitar leads were fantastic, super melodic, technical, and just all around a blast to listen to. The drumming was a bit over the top, but it was also superb. There were massive drum fills and great beats all over the album. The vocals were average at best, the screams were monotonous as could be and the singing was whiny and weak. The epic instrumentals allowed me to overlook the extremely underwhelming vocal performance, and I held on to pretty high hopes for the band. I figured by the time they released their next album the vocals would have improved, and the instrumentals would continue to be fantastic.
Well, the follow up to Let Oceans Lie has arrived... And it ***ing sucks.
Let's start with the guitar work. What was easily the highlight of the previous album has been reduced to mostly just down tuned chugs and uninteresting riffs. The melodies that do show up are too infrequent and not nearly good enough to save any of the songs. On occasion a lead shows up that is actually quite nice to listen to, but by the time you come across those leads you'll probably hate the song you're listening to way too much to care or consider it a redeeming quality.
A while after Let Oceans Lie was released the band posted that they had let their drummer go. I thought that drummer was awesome, he went ape-*** on his kit pretty much all the time and was really fun to listen to. Well now they have a guy that pretty much just keeps the beat and never does anything worth remembering. There's fills here and there but they're pretty weak. The new guy is overall just a huge step down. So he fits right in to the band's new sound.
The vocals for this band have always been the weak point, that remains the case on this album, and considering how weak the rest of the band is here, that's really saying something. The screams are barely tolerable at their best, and downright horrible at their worst. The lead vocalist, seemingly in an attempt to make his performance even worse than it already is, uses the spoken word technique fairly often. His voice is one of the most obnoxious things I've ever heard on a record. I don't know who told him it would be a good idea to use that method for the album, or what they were smoking. It's horrible and it does more damage to the songs than any other aspect of the band. The clean vocals still suck, that's pretty much all there is to say about them. Whiny, weak, bad.
The song structures are predictable, they're riddled with crappy breakdowns, and the choruses aren't catchy. You would think that if all else failed on a Metalcore record, you could at least find a catchy chorus or two, but no, every chorus on this album is garbage.
There really is nothing here to redeem this album, this is pretty much as lame and generic as Metalcore gets. A huge disappointment from a band that once displayed a lot of potential. Potential wasted.