Funeral for a Friend
Chapter and Verse


3.0
good

Review

by CrazyBrave1982 USER (15 Reviews)
March 12th, 2015 | 19 replies


Release Date: 01/19/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blessed With A Curse.

A brief biography precedes the review.

FFAF are a band that I feel proud to have stuck with. The hype that accompanied them in the early days of their career pushed them to the forefront of the post hardcore rock scene in 2003. Casually dressed at the time was as a groundbreaking debut album, building on the best elements of their prior E.P’s. The album was certified gold, produced three top 20 singles and booked them support slots for heavyweights such as Iron Maiden and Linkin Park. It was safe to say the band was white hot and heading straight for superstardom. Then they had the unenviable task of following it up, a task that would eventually prove too big.

The albums that followed, Hours, Tales Don’t Tell Themselves and Memory and Humanity continued to build on the sound that they broke ground with on CDADIC, the only thing missing this time was the publicity. All of these albums charted well, they had loyal fan base that kept them ticking over. They continued to tour and play festivals in support of the records, but it just felt like with every release their star slowly faded.

Leaving a major record and becoming independent is always a bold move. The benefits that come from more creative freedom and final say on your product develops a deeper connection and involvement to the material. I forever read about the freedom bands experience when they leave a major label and the excitement of a fresh start.
A fresh start is the road FFAF took. Having lost their first original member Gareth Davies (bass) in 2008, it was evident that a transition period was underway. Since the bands incarnation there has been thirteen credited members of FFAF, dating back to 2001. This was the first major loss since mainstream fame.

The band would surface with Welcome Home Armageddon in 2011, suffering yet another loss as Darren Smith withdrew from the band. This was a tough period for the band. Not having the marketing machine behind them forced them to rely on the longstanding fan base for direct support, pledge campaigns were set up to fund E.P’S prior to the album release. Despite the line up changes, they managed to still hold together the sound they were known for. The production may not have been as polished, but this did not subtract from the quality of their song writing.

Line up changes has become common practices in the industry today. Life catches up, you get older and life responsibilities take priority. The grind of touring and recording become less appealing and a ‘normal’ life becomes the chosen road.
FFAF have the benefit of never replacing their lead vocalist and lead guitarist. As a result they can still produce their signature sound. I am always concerned when bands I like replace these elements; it’s always a struggle to live up to the standards set on previous release. The fans connect to the vocalist, the identity/face of a band.

By 2012, Ryan Richards (drums) would leave the band, citing it was time for family to take the top spot in his life. This was the year that Conduit was released, and after suffering another loss and line up change, the musical direction of the band would also change.
Conduit received a mixed reaction despite breaking the top 40. Production especially was highlighted, it has a no frills approach. Vocals are delivered with a mix of shouting and direct verses. Running times were slashed, some songs barely scraped over the two minute mark. Listeners were disgruntled at how abruptly songs would end. It would feel that a track was about to launch in to something epic and just....end.

This was the sound of a band which have adapted and overcome for nearly a decade. There is less flair on display. It might just be their heaviest album to date, and despite the short running time, Conduit still managed to find those moments that the loyal FFAF fans have come to rely. There are some great melodies and hooks littered throughout to balance the straight up screaming approach that some tracks take. It was the sound of a band being honest and direct.

Chapter And Verse.

So here we are in 2015. A quick change of the drummer was undertaken with Pat Lundy making way for Casey McHale.
Chapter And Verse kicks off with vocalists Matthew Davies-Kreye’s distinctive unhinged screaming, which quickly becomes a defining feature of the album. The lyrics occasionally delve into political territory throughout this album, especially in the tracks You Should Be Ashamed Of Yourself and Inequality, however the delivery tends to stand in the way of his messages, his screaming often distracting from the lyrics making them at times indistinguishable.

You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself does have more clarity with its almost sing-along chorus and opening vocal sample of a woman proclaiming, ‘let it be that human rights are woman’s rights and woman’s rights are human rights, once and for all.’ However, this is not so much a song about woman’s rights, but rather a man’s right to be liked by feminists despite being male, which tends to reduce the impact of the opening vocal grab.

Throughout Chapter And Verse the vocals remain relentlessly intense, however this does not disguise the talent of the other musicians. While You’ve Got A Bad Case Of The Religions shows off some impressive drumming, it’s the hooky guitar riff that defines third track Pencil Pusher. More melodic than the opening two tracks, Pencil Pusher relieves the intensity of the album just a little.
The same can be said for main single 1%, with its melodic guitar line and Kreye’s slightly more subtle vocal delivery. However this track is still raw and passionate, building to a roaring climax.

The bizarrely titled After All These Years… Like A Lightbulb Going Off In My Head stands out as one of the weaker tracks on this album. While it too boasts some impressive percussion, there is a confronting disparity between the vocals and instrumentals, which seem to work against each other, losing the tight unity of previous tracks. Eventually the track recovers a little, slowing to connect with the vocals, however After All These Years still doesn’t make an easy listen.

Chapter And Verse keeps to the new direction from the Welsh rockers. While Funeral For A Friend remain pumped with an enviable amount of raw energy, at times on this release it feels excessive. Certain tracks on this album are of such high intensity that some listeners may find it overwhelming; others however will thrive on their relentless energy. While it will certainly not speak to everyone, long-time fans of the band should be satisfied by this new release.



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user ratings (107)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
LoLifant (2.5)
Funeral for a Friend once again achieves to impress with their level of skill and the ability to cre...

Kurai (5)
Funeral for a Friend continue their evolution by combining the harshness of their previous album wit...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Hopelust
March 12th 2015


3442 Comments


PREcedes. Not proceeds. Don't wanna confuse people right off the bat, now.

Crawl
March 12th 2015


2580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I might bump this one to 3.5, it's definitely a grower. After All These Years... is one of my favorites actually.

Storm In A Teacup
November 15th 2016


26590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

someone should add the acoustic album and other live albums to the database

StarlessCore
November 15th 2016


5967 Comments


nobody cares enough

Futures
November 15th 2016


9977 Comments


sure progmaster lol

Storm In A Teacup
December 17th 2018


26590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing album

Kurai
May 4th 2019


275 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is so underrated and under appreciated. It’s a shame that people kind of stopped giving a shit about them after Tales Don't Tell Themselves since their last three albums (Welcome Home Armageddon, Conduit and this) were all brilliant.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2019


41954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

lol bar WHA which is kind of a mess I fully agree. still think this is their second best album ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Digging: Cave In - Final Transmission

SlicePaperMoog
May 4th 2019


1380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Conduit is amazing yeah but this one and WHA are not the greatest.

Kurai
May 4th 2019


275 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I’m probably biased since they’re my favourite band, but I think all their albums other than Tales and M&H are brilliant, but even those two albums aren’t completely without merit. I’d probably rank their albums as such:



Hours

Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation

Welcome Home Armageddon

Chapter and Verse

Conduit

Tales Don’t Tell Themselves

Memory and Humanity

SlicePaperMoog
May 4th 2019


1380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Casually Dressed > Hours > Conduit > Memory > Chapter > WHA > Tales





I think

Sinternet
May 4th 2019


19643 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

hours > casually dressed > welcome home > conduit



those are def top of the list



the rest of them are interchangeable but tales has some nostalgic tracks, would probably go tales > chapter > memory

Digging: Peggy Gou - Moment

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2019


41954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Hours is easily the worst y'all dreamin

Kurai
May 5th 2019


275 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nah, Memory is their weakest by far. It has some great songs, but it's mostly full of filler. The reason behind that was they left Atlantic after Tales came out, and because they knew that Atlantic wanted to release a greatest hits album, they rushed out an album because they wanted to release something before that so people didn’t think they were breaking up. Likewise, Tales was a departure due to Matt and Kris (who were the key songwriters on previous releases) taking a backseat due to feeling burnt out and the rest of the band wanting to break away from the Emo/Screamo thing.



Matt has said that M&H is his least favourite album, and it took Gav joining the band and pointing out how 'shit' the album was to reinvigorate them and get back to the more Hardcore influenced sound they wanted to go for. Hours is also his favourite FFAF record.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2019


41954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

I mean the band/Gav can like whatever they want, I don't really care much for that. WHA is an inconsistent sloppy "look we can play metal riffs" album to me with a couple good songs, and Hours is just some generic pop-punk with a couple highlights. M&H has some of their best experiments (Building, the last song) a lot of their absolute best choruses (Burning Tree, Waterfront Dance Club, Kicking and Screaming etc) and mostly bangs. it is a little on the long side but at least there's no 5-minute Iron Maiden imitation songs on there

dustandnations
May 5th 2019


98 Comments


Hours would be generic without the guitar-work, which is killer start to finish.

EDIT: Revisiting it now and besides the well-known tracks it actually is pretty average, yeah...

SlicePaperMoog
May 5th 2019


1380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hours def has some weaker moments but the stronger tracks make up for it big time.



FFAF have always been close to what was mainstream but managed to stray off of being shit through their much stronger guitarwork. The only album of theirs I dislike is Tales tbh. Everything else at least has some good moments.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2019


41954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

good guitarwork is fine and cool but it doesn't mean a lot to me when the songwriting isn't there. Hours and WHA don't have the songwriting (with exceptions of course, History and Owls are GOAT) and that's why I don't care for them

SlicePaperMoog
May 5th 2019


1380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dont agree on the songwrittong being bad when guitarwork is a part of songwritting in of itself.



Ive always found their guitarwork to be their strongest suite and my biggest reason to be into them along with their ability to go closer to their influences than most of their contemporaries did.



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