Funeral for a Friend
Conduit


3.4
great

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
February 4th, 2013 | 58 replies | 11,907 views


Release Date: 01/28/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A step down, but still solid.

Long time fans hyped about Funeral For a Friend's seeming return to form (read: their early 2000s post-hardcore roots) on Welcome Home Armageddon will likely be disappointed by Conduit's change of pace. Not because they've made changes to their sound – Funeral For a Friend have never been content to rest on their laurels. It certainly isn't because the Welsh quintet have done another 180 and returned to the melodic rock of Memory and Humanity. Rather, the record stakes out new territory in ways which seem to deliberately discard the elements that made their previous record so well received. Whereas Welcome Home Armageddon was a fairly flashy effort in the vein of the band's early work, Conduit strips their sound down to the basics. The final result is just about what one might expect; Conduit is certainly a solid outing, and just might be Funeral For a Friend's heaviest, most energetic record to date. At the same time, it lacks the same flair of their more celebrated releases.

"Spine" sets the tone for much of the record; Funeral For a Friend's rhythm section is as strong as it's ever been, with guitarists Kris Coombs-Roberts and Gavin Burrough laying down some of the band's tightest riffs to date. Occasionally, they'll drift into more familiar melodic territory, such as in "Best Friends and Hospital Beds" or the superb "High Castles," but for the most part Conduit forgoes the poppier hooks that have been such a mainstay on previous albums. In this respect, the record is a bit of a grower. Of the eleven tracks, only "Elements" and the aforementioned "High Castles" immediately jump out as standout tracks, and the latter is more reflective of the material heard on Welcome Home Armageddon than Funeral For a Friend's new direction. Although there is subtle enough variation that Conduit doesn't have a completely monolithic sound, much of the record works best as a collective whole. In this respect, the album's twenty-nine minute runtime is complimentary to their riff-based, metalcore-tinged sound; with most of the album's songs under three minutes in length, they get to the point and rarely overstay their welcome.

Despite this, Conduit is limited in significant ways. Most notably, the record is hampered by an uncharacteristic lack of diversity. While, as previously noted, repeated listening suggests that it isn't as same-y as early responses to Conduit have suggested, the variety that spiced up Welcome Home Armageddon and Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation seems to be missing. With such a short runtime, this isn't as major an issue as it may otherwise have been, but Conduit can feel a little overbearing at times. Likewise, the reigning in of Kris Coombs-Roberts' lead guitarwork deprives the band of one of their most potent elements. His technical leads do play a major role in (you guessed it) "High Castles," but for the most part, they're either drowned out by the rhythm section or missing entirely. Ultimately, Conduit is a fair step down from the resurgence that was Welcome Home Armageddon. But having said that, it remains a solid addition to their discography.



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3.3
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Londonskylines (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2013



50093 Comments


Interesting, I didn't peg you as a fan of this band
I never got into them myself

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

NeoSpaz
February 4th 2013



4518 Comments


damn

oh well, nice review mate

paxman
February 4th 2013



4084 Comments


Good review. I enjoyed Hours a bit, but never really got into their other stuff.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2013



6993 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Despite this, Conduit is limited in significant ways. Most notably, the record is hampered by an uncharacteristic lack of diversity. While, as previously noted, repeated listening suggests that it isn't as same-y as early responses to Conduit have suggested, the variety that spiced up Welcome Home Armageddon and Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation seems to be missing.

This, although the effect must have been greater to me.

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 4th 2013



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Interesting, I didn't peg you as a fan of this band
I never got into them myself
Eh, I picked up one of their albums 8-9 years ago and they've stuck with me for the most part

THIEF
February 4th 2013



237 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"with most of the album's songs under two minutes in length"

.. I think you meant under 3 minutes.

Great review!! Although I would argue that Nails steals the show here, not High Castles ;)

schoonda
February 4th 2013



101 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

pretty much sums up how i feel about the album, 3/3.5 for me, still not 100% sure

Digging: Jen Buxton - Don't Change Your Plans

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013



6093 Comments


artwork is very bannon-esque

CK
February 4th 2013



4910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eh, I picked up one of their albums 8-9 years ago and they've stuck with me for the most part


Was it Hours?

sailSAway
February 5th 2013



840 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this might have some of their best songs to date imo...

RobH
February 5th 2013



61 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, I really enjoyed this album, but I'm a Funeral for a Friend fanboy, so that'd probably be why I enjoyed it so much. I'd place it above Memory and Humanity, but below Casually Dressed, Welcome Home Armageddon, and Hours. Asides from the short length, I enjoyed it, but I already said this in my review lol

Crawl
February 5th 2013



1597 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Love the artwork

DyingAtheist
February 5th 2013



111 Comments


Seeing them live in a couple of months so pretty much going to cram this album into my conciousness. Not yet managed a listen, but I do love the band, so hopefully it'll be a grower for me too.

afoolonahill
February 5th 2013



106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's a bit of a grower. the reverb-drenched shouts do get a little tiring but yeah this is good

JUST LIKE THE GOOD OLD DAYS

thelastsignal
February 5th 2013



1340 Comments


I love these guys, haven't heard this one yet. This review was great, especially comparing to their return to form with Welcome Home Armageddon. It gave me a better idea of what to expect, that's for sure.

Storm In A Teacup
February 6th 2013



12702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's gonna be a sexy 2013.

NorwichScene
February 6th 2013



1415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

10th listen in and this is awesome! No messing around, Conduit is underrated

Digging: Twin Atlantic - Great Divide

Sanders
February 6th 2013



2345 Comments


I dunno, this is probably one of my least favourite of theirs

I doubt they'll ever really top CDADIC, although Hours came close and Welcome Home Armageddon was pretty damn good

Lambda
February 6th 2013



2417 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This grew on me

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Adultery

NorwichScene
February 7th 2013



1415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is better than Hours overall for me. Casually Dressed is their best agreed



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