Review Summary: After a decent third offering, For The Fallen Dreams return with easily their worst record to date
For The Fallen Dreams have had a rough go of it members wise. The lineup for their debut record, Changes, lasted only a short 6 months before vocalist Chad Ruhlig and guitarist Marcus Morgan left the band to pursue other endeavors (Ruhlig went on to form Legend). Chad was replaced by ex-From Under The Gallows vocalist Dylan Richter who proved to be a more than capable successor to Ruhlig. The one constant has been guitarist Jim Hocking who has remained loyal amidst the chaos. The key departure was drummer/writer/composer Andrew Tkaczyk who went on to be the drummer for metalcore powerhouse The Ghost Inside. Tkazcyk had a knack for writing quality metalcore hooks in the vein of Misery Signals, while putting his own spin on the genre. His departure was not quite as obvious on the bands third album, Back Burner, which was a fun album, but the use of clean vocals was magnified and brought the overall sound of the album down. On FTFD’s fourth album, Wasted Youth, Tkaczyk’s departure has come full circle and the result is the bands worst album to date
Wasted Youth would not have been that bad of an album if it wasn’t for the lackluster production from Tom Denney. The guitars are bland, the drums sound flat, and the vocals sound bored and uninspired. Its quite a shame because Richter was one of the better vocalists in the genre. The screams are decent, but the clean vocals are cringe worthy. Along with sounding utterly bored, Richter runs his cleans together, making it impossible to recreate live (“Resolvent Feelings” and “When Push Comes To Shove”). Surprisingly enough, the easycore inspired “No One To Blame” is a highlight of the album. The chorus is catchy, complete with chanted vocals towards the end, and for once Richter doesn’t sound bored. The screams on the album, as mentioned before, are decent. Richter refrains from using his higher pitched screams, but he implements some shouts here and there (“Living A Lie”), but they are not needed and honestly unnecessary. Richter highlight is on the album’s heaviest track, “Your Funeral.” The guitars are bland, but not quite as uninspired as the vocals. Opening track “Hollow” has some of the band’s heaviest riffs to date and closing track “Pretending” has the album’s best breakdown. There are some melodic passages here and there such as the intro to “Living A Lie” and the chorus to “Hollow,” but breakdowns are the name of the game here. This is honestly where the band miss Tkaczyk the most. He loved writing ambient and melodic guitar passages here and there ("In Sincerity" off Relentless), as well as saving the breakdowns for the right part of the song (“A Plethora Of” off Relentless). The band does the exact opposite by adding extra breakdowns in place of more melodic passages. The drums are easily the worst I’ve ever heard. Dylan Shippey clearly has skill, but the production on the drums is abysmal. It sounds like Shippey and Denney went out in the woods and recorded Shippey hitting a tree stump s hard as he could.
After a decent third offering, For The Fallen Dreams return with easily their worst record to date. Uninspired and offensively produced, the band finally feel the departure of Andrew Tkaczyk, and while they havent quite fallen into obsurity, they are ceratainly headed down that path.