Fear Before
The Always Open Mouth



by canadapantsman USER (7 Reviews)
September 20th, 2006 | 1678 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the best and most solid and unique albums of the year. I know that's saying a lot, but it is true.

Fear Before The March of Flames is a band that performs a hybrid of screamo, hardcore, and metalcore to achieve a sound that isn’t necessarily original, but certainly sounds more experimental than most of their peers. Well now the band has added a new genre influence into its sound, that of ambient electronica and industrial music. Industrial screamo? Even loosely translated, not quite, but still it certainly fills the criteria for one of the more unique and well-composed albums to come out this year

The Music
Catchy, heavy, atmospheric, psychedelic, this CD quite literally has it all in a nutshell. The guitars are not nearly as thin as on previous albums, and the sometimes-distorted basslines only thicken the orgasmic experience more and more. While its not as if Fear Before has taken any great leaps in musicianship, their composition skills have most definitely matured and make use of it with catchy phrases and musical sections that evolve and lead into one another, though they still stray outside the mainstream realm of verse/chorus structuring, which again gives this album its own feel.

The chaos theory abrasiveness found in the band’s earlier material still makes appearances, but thankfully, unlike the previous album Art Damage, The Always Open Mouth is not oversaturated with meaningless dissonance. However, another gem is to be found in this new release. The electronics are perfect. They lend the essential industrial feel that is the final element to put The Always Open Mouth above the countless other post-hardcore albums available.

The Listen

After a short industrial/acoustic intro, Drowning the Old Hag goes straight for the throat. Heavy rhythms precede guitar leads that seem to be almost moaning with either disdain or apprehension as samples, atmospheric riffs, distorted bass, electronics and both clean and screamed vocals make appearances (though mostly the latter). Mouth condemns corporate traditions with lyrics of disgust in typical post-hardcore fashion; not much to rave about initially until the atmospherics again are put to great use. Taking Cassandra To The End Of The World Party brings in the fusion of Interpol-ish dance groves with emo elements with some seemingly abstract/metaphoric yet catchy lyrics narrate.

The middle section of the album is probably the most ambient and make the most of Fear Before’s flirtations with electronic effects, though not without their own distorted climaxes of screaming and drop-tuned guitar frenzies. …As a Result of Signals Being Crossed has some dual vocals done in typical Fear Before-brand screamo style over not only some heavy guitar but synth lines as well. Lycanthropy is sort of the “single” in its all-encompassing metaphorical nutshell of what this new material is all about, bringing the tempo up a notch or two to pave the way for the booze-drenched screamo/metal/post-rock hybrid of A Brief Tutorial in Bachanalia. Before you know it, the CD is over and you have to go through all the trouble of going back to the first track so you can have another listen. Or two. Or seven.

By far one of the best things to come out this year. And, I think, to happen to “scene” music. A lot of Fear Before fans are already disdaining this release, but musically they’ve never been stronger or more focused (though I guess their sense of an “I don’t care” attitude was a little bit more appealing to some people).

Recommended Tracks
…As A Result of Signals Being Crossed
A Brief Tour in Bachanalia
Taking Cassandra to the End of the World Party
Drowning the Old Hag

Overall (5/5)
By far. My reviewing skills could not do this album a hint of justice.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Zesty Mordant
September 21st 2006


brief review and maybe a tad fanboyish, but very concise and well written.great work

Chances are, I'll probably won't dig the industrial sounds that you described, plus this band sounds a little too 'scene' for me if you know what I'm saying (but I might check them out).This Message Edited On 09.20.06

September 21st 2006



Theres a very good review of this cd.

edit: another good reviewThis Message Edited On 09.20.06

Death Grind
September 21st 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

they've changed a lot. but definetly in a good way.

I havent heard anything with the combinations of genres that they have. and the album definetly flows all the way through.

it's a good one.

September 21st 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Im sorry its a bit fan-boyish, but I've been listening to this since the leak and then after it came out and it still isn't old at all. Nobody I know of has this sound either.

September 21st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

how are they 'scene' ? ( not saying they aren't )

September 21st 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with a bunch of what you said. I haven't listened to enough to rate it yet but my first couple listens really interested me. I don't particulary like the addition of all the electronic stuff but there is no doubt some very very interesting stuff. "Drowning The Old Hag" and "Mouth" are absolutely amazing.

As far as the scene thing, Fear Before really acheived that title with their first album which paired really poppy, catchy guitar and vocal melodies with screaming which is a formula for success in the scene (see: Underoath, The Fall Of Troy, The Blood Brothers). Art Damage really lost them a lot fans with it's extremely technical approach, and techincal riffing is one thing that really drives away scene kids (see: Norma Jean- O' God, The Aftermath). I'm pretty sure this album like you said is going to drive away alot more of the fairweather scene kids but at the same time, they might just find it "oh so original and experimental!" and totally jock it like crazy. I'm leaning towards the former at this point though, just because of how truly out there it is.

September 21st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

thanks martinez

September 25th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I saw a commercial for this on headbangers ball or something with that guy from www.tourettesguy.com haha i pissed my pants i was laughing. ermm yeah i think ill check this out...

September 25th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

i love this cd even if it isnt the same as old fear it still is amazing...they have grown soo much and there lyrics and music is all amazing

September 29th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

This truly is a great album. Regardless of whether or not you loved or hated FBTMOF before, this album deserves a listen. They've shifted away from the spastic riffs of the past, focussing less on technical skill (not that they were ever THAT technical) and more on the atmosphere, feeling, mood and sheer beauty of their songs. They might take some flack from some hardcore purists, however, they have done something new. And in today's music scene how refreshing is that?

Good review. This truly is a great album.

October 2nd 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Fear before has grown so much but in a great way. The always open mouth blew me away. Honestly my album of 2006.

October 3rd 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

this album is great. i gotta pick up their earlier stuff too.

October 3rd 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Just got this, I think it really is great. Kind of like Between the Buried and Me and Protest the Hero

October 7th 2006


i dond know about u guys but the last one was way better!

October 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I agree that Art Damage has a slight upper hand over this album, but The Always Open Mouth is an excellent album. Truly experimental and although it loses some of the straight up technicality of Art Damage, it makes it up with the haunting melodies and experimental guitar stuff. Plus, it retains the dark lyrics and feel of the older albums. It's actually more of a cross between both of their albums. It's got some of the poppy melodies of Odd How People Shake but has the dark feel and technicality of Art Damage. "The Waiting Makes Me Curious," A Brief Tutorial In Bachanalia" and "...As A Result Of Signals Being Crossed" are amazing. And "Drowning The Old Hag" and "Lycanthropy" are still as brutal and amazing as the first time I heard them, especially the former. All and all, a very interesting and experimental album.

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Great album. Great review. If you're curious enough to read this article and all these comments then you should do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

October 10th 2006


I love this album. The first 13 songs are an absolute joy to listen to, and I rarely have the patience to listen to an entire album straight... the last 2 kind of lag IMO. Of Horses and Medicine, My Fucking Deer Hunter and Mouth are my favorites so far

Kid A
October 14th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

i hate it when people say that they've changed. they haven't "changed", that's just the type of music they do. always pushing the limits to make a unique and enjoyable experience. this is the best cd i've heard in a long, long time. it's gotten me back into music again.

October 22nd 2006


Hm, I'm not yet sure what to think of the album. Maybe I'm just not in the mood to really embrace it, though I can clearly spot new approaches here. The sometimes kinda eerie melodies, less screaming... they actually remind me of Portugal. The Man with this one

October 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

This album is a big step away from what they achieved in Art Damage. But holy shit is it great, this album go through track by track seamlessly and it is an amazing combination of a more industrial/experimental approach to songs. Very impressive album. I saw them last night, and as they stated before they hate "Odd How People Shake".

This is a must.

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