Review Summary: Buddy is as bitter and pissed as ever on the band’s 4th effort, but he’s finally starting to burn away his painful past in the fire.
The world can be an unforgiving and even relentless place. Those who have struggled with afflictions such as addiciton or depression know this to be true, but few are able to express such a profound pain. Plagued by the abandonment of his father and his alcohol fueled past, the convicting screams of a tormented soul are more prevalent than ever throughout Senses Fail’s 4th full length The Fire.
They are the desperate cries of a man facing his inner demons as he channels his anger and regrets into an uneasy, but hopeful listening experience.
Haunted by the absence of his father and past regrets, Buddy sounds just as angry as ever on The Fire
, but his lyrics also show new signs of optimism. Although he’s still bitter and the lyrics are as dark as ever, he’s finally learning to let go of his past afflictions. Thankfully, his way of moving on seems to be laying down his most jarring and angry vocal performance to date. Songs like ‘Coward’ and ‘Lifeboats’ are painfully honest and showcase how much Buddy has improved with his most demented vocals on the album. However, it’s the song’s painfully honest nature that makes it so impacting to the listener. Buddy has always expressed his hatred towards his father and all of his deepest emotions come forth in ‘Coward’ as he doesn’t hold a thing back lyrically or emotionally. However, despite the aggressive nature of the song, some lyrics show a new glimpse of hope as Buddy admits he must forgive his father to move on and he even sings about finding faith in himself. It’s one of the strongest songs the band has ever written but it’s not the only jaw-dropping track as ‘New Year’s Eve’ and ‘Lifeboats’ also contain strong subject matter backed by more tortured vocals. The latter of the two is easily one of the most aggressive songs in the band’s entire catalogue and Buddy sounds nothing short of barbaric.
It’s going to take more than the mere spark of a match to burn the wreckage of Buddy’s past, and what better to fuel the flame than the most furious guitar work and drumming the band has ever spawned? The album wastes no time with the upbeat opener ‘The Fire’, which shows off some flashy guitar work as we are presented with the underlying theme of the album. However, it’s the raw production that gives the instrumentation such an honest and wrathful sound. All the frantic riffs and pounding drums sound as exciting as ever, but the rough production job proves to be the perfect fit for unforgiving nature of The Fire.
Our past can be truly difficult to escape. It can keep us up at night and haunt our every thought if we let it. Which is why Senses Fail’s 4th effort is so fascinating. Rather than continuing down the same path as a band, Buddy has matured lyrically yet again. Even though he sounds like a beast throughout the album, some song’s such as ‘Landslide’ and ‘Saint Anthony’ show off the band’s more upbeat and uplifting nature and are sure to please longtime fans. However, what makes the album so outstanding is its ability to connect with the listener. Anyone trying to overcome a difficult past or escape their darkest demons will find a lot to relate to in The Fire
as Buddy’s past is reduced to smoke. I’m looking forward to hearing what he comes up with as he rises from the ashes with 2013’s Renacer.