Senses Fail
Hell Is in Your Head


2.5
average

Review

by ConcubinaryCode USER (21 Reviews)
August 28th, 2022 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There's a special place in hell for you

There's something admirable about Senses Fail still remaining active throughout the years even though they haven't been a major force in their scene since "Still Searching". The two following albums, "Life Is Not A Waiting Room" and "The Fire", both have their share of fans but didn't really manage to be that impactful for the band's popularity long term. On the band's own greatest hits album only five of the songs from these two albums made the tracklist that totaled 16 non-original songs from their more successful era as an influence in their genre. In a way that same greatest hits album served as a great transition when Senses Fail was more willing to shake up it's sound to something more meaningful which, of course, led to the excellent "Renacer". It married the catchy riffs, powerful and memorable choruses from the likes of "Still Searching" with Buddy's more introspective, but sometimes bitter, lyrics from his "Bayonet" side project. It's ironic "Hell Is In Your Head" is supposed to reference the sounds and feel of albums like "Still Searching" when "Renacer" and "Pull The Thorns From Your Heart" managed just that while still advancing the band's sound in a meaningful way. This sound just unfortunately shared the fate similar to "Life" and "The Fire", that it didn't cement their legacy as more than a band that wrote "Can't Be Saved" as their high mark in terms of popularity.

Both "Hell Head" and "If There Is A Light" were crafted in the hope of capturing some of the magic Senses Fail's first two albums brought them when their songs were staples of the post hardcore scene. When I first listened to the latter album I could see effort in trying to replicate that magic in songs like "Double Cross" with a higher paced energy reminiscent of their early work. It obviously wasn't a one-to-one recreation since some of those early moments in the band's career has some more distasteful elements that Buddy himself goes out of the way to avoid evidenced by the re-recording of "From the Depths of Dreams", where certain lyrics are altered or given more creative enunciation. Buddy can deliver compelling harsh vocals nowadays but his clean vocals try to replicate his early years and come off fairly distracting to the overall package. It can be a real problem in songs like "Miles To Go" where Buddy has some fairly vapid lyrics about ice caps melting and governments lying. Buddy can make great songs when he's more introspective about his feelings, almost like treating his songs like their own little diary entries but when he isn't doing that it can come off a little thoughtless. I found myself questioning "Is this really all you thought about this?". He's not exactly Tim Mcllrath. (Although Senses Fail did tour together with Rise Against in support of this album, so hopefully Buddy will pick something up along the way.)

"Hell Is In Your Head" ultimately just falls into the same traps "If There Is A Light" did where the music is technically serviceable and even has a few cool riffs or moments they're just too short lived to leave a lasting impact on you. I do appreciate the band still adhering to a heavier sound when their contemporaries are taking a noticeable change in their sound for marketability, but there just isn't enough here to keep you coming back. There's two guest spots on songs "End of the World" and "Death By Water" that inject a little spice to the songs formula but it's fleeting and too short lived. The guest vocals are welcome but barely manage 20 seconds total over the album so it's hard to tell if these moments were undercooked or just not thought out that much.

I'm not in love with this album, but I can see effort was put into it so I'm less upset and more just disappointed in it. Buddy can make compelling music with some moments shining through, even on here, however dim they may be. He has heartfelt moments like his iterative ode to his miscarried child that he never got to meet or his feelings on his daughter and if he can be the parent to her that he never had. The space they share with the less compelling songs just hold them back, making the songs feel less like an evolving idea and more of a safety blanket that harks back to older thoughts in an attempt to reminisce. "Hell Is In Your Head" does aptly title the disasters of being in your own head for prolonged periods of time and Senses Fail has been in this state for too long for my comfort.



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user ratings (92)
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
0range (3)
Buddy is still the best, and worst, part of this band....

FatheringhamDrive (3)
Senses Fail need to heed their own advice on, "Hell is in Your Head"...



Comments:Add a Comment 
ConcubinaryCode
August 28th 2022


7539 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I didn't get all my thoughts about this on here but couldn't figure out how to tie it into the review gracefully but I hope it's an OK review regardless.

onionbubs
August 28th 2022


20593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

still think this album is pretty good. def their worst but i jammed it again a few days ago and only found myself wanting to skip like 2 tracks, both of which were singles

ConcubinaryCode
August 29th 2022


7539 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

It's definitely not bad. Like I've seen a few people say if you liked the last album you'll probably like this because it's almost entirely more of the same. It is beginning to run a little thin for me though. There also needs to be more Bayonet work or at least that type of energy again.

RadioSuicide
September 1st 2022


2597 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the new single buddy put out with nothing,nowhere recently is a giant pile of shit

ConcubinaryCode
September 2nd 2022


7539 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

That's disappointing but not unexpected.



And yeah atari, it grew on me a little through repeated listens but I still don't think it's that good. Almost reaches that point though. Would probably give it a 2.8 if I had those fancy staff ratings.

TheMonster
September 2nd 2022


240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Still say Grow Away from Me is the best song on here.



ConcubinaryCode
September 2nd 2022


7539 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

It doesn't have that much competition but that is one of the better ones here. Generally the ones about Buddy's family are ok and endearing in their own way even if they aren't the best musically.



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