Since recently signing with Rise Records, screamo metalcore rockers Blessthefall have described themselves as feeling “rejuvenated”. While they are pleased to be having a fresh start for their sixth studio album, ‘Hard Feelings’, longterm fans will be satisfied there isn’t a radical change in sound.
Blending atmospheric electronic elements with thick layers of melodic, minor-inflected guitars throughout, the band open up with the infectious ‘Wishful Sinking’. It’s a good kick-start to the album and one of the better tracks of the ten – an anthemic singalong with some massive guitars.
There’s definitely a few pit-ready bangers here which will go down a storm live. ‘Cutthroat’ is the most obvious contender. It’s one of the fastest, heaviest and dirtiest songs on the record, relentless in its brutal vocals and grinding guitars, only dropping out for the haunting and carefully constructed middle section.
Lead singer Beau Bokan certainly has a powerful set of lungs perfect for rock, able to switch between beautiful soaring vocals and aggressive screams with ease. On ‘I’m Over Being Under(rated)’ he reaches almost Kellin Quinn-esque levels only to be followed up by the very similar sounding ‘Sleepless In Phoenix’.
The album takes a bit of a dip at this point with a trio of back to back slower numbers which, although pretty, do tend to stick to the same formula. It picks up again with ‘Sakura Blues’ and final track ‘Welcome Home’, the latter of which features a killer classic rock style guitar solo and a slick riff.
Overall, ‘Hard Feelings’ is a decent release, although one can’t help but feel the band have more to give. Perhaps after finding settling in with their new label, the Arizona-based band will be able to push themselves further, forging a new, expansive sound.
‘Hard Feelings’ by Blessthefall is released on 23rd March on Rise Records.
Words by Bec Simpson (@swallowmyeyes)