Review Summary: Wasted Potential
When For The Fallen Dreams vocalist Dylan Richter commented on the bands new album Wasted Youth
, he spoke of it being similar to the bands previous album Back Burner
but "more mature" and "having more singing but at the same time being more heavy". I couldn't help but sit and wonder where the band was truly going with their sound. Its been little over a year since 2011's Back Burner
, an album that left many fans of the band let down, and its obvious that they have decided to further pursue the sound they switched over to on that outing with Wasted Youth
Once again choosing former A Day To Remember guitarist Tom Denney as producer, the band recorded the album in Denney's studio in Ocala FL. Last time this combination produced a record that was, while vastly different from Relentless
and not exactly a welcome change, did produce a good track or two. This time, unfortunately, it has proven to take a turn for the worse. If the production sounded bad to some on Back Burner
, let it be known that it sounds horrid on Wasted Youth
. Across the album this fact is blatantly obvious when you hear how muddy the guitar tone is, how little the drums stand out, and how forced Richter's clean vocals sound. The only aspect that could be seen as tolerable are the harsh vocals, which haven't varied much since the bands last outing.
It also doesn't help that the songwriting is still suffering. Being their second album since founding drummer Andrew Tkaczyk left the fold (they are now on their second drummer since his departure) the band is still suffering without his songwriting skills at their disposal and have continued to water down their sound into the generic metalcore heard from countless other acts. Every song relies on the same predictable formula by relying on Richter's cleanly-sang choruses and plodding breakdowns, which results in many of the songs sounding the same. Denney further worsens this fact by no doubt once again lending an influence from his former band into this album as he did last time with the clean vocal sections and breakdowns, except this time they feel more generic than ever and lack any power at all due to the production.
It's these reasons among others that leave Wasted Youth a very underwhelming record as well as a disappointing one. Among the sea of acts that is modern metalcore, For The Fallen Dreams were one of the more promising ones when they first appeared with two solid efforts in Changes
. However, Wasted Youth
signifies the downfall of the band and that (among the countless breakdowns this album contains) they have resorted to using the same formula that dozens of others have. The departure of their primary songwriter has no doubt left them in a state of confusion of where to take their sound, and with the band once again looking to record with Denney on their next effort after the Wasted Youth
cycle is finished, they will only continue to descend further into mediocrity and become just another metalcore act.