“Awakening” was blessthefall’s 2011 LP release, which took the metal/hardcore scene by storm. The album commences with the connection of tracks one and two (“Awakening” to “Promised Ones”), where the band establishes their characteristic sound with a small introductory track that embodies the title of the album that drives to one of the hard-hitting selections of the album. When analyzing this album, there are a few main points that stick out to the listeners after their first run-through. The first major trait that is strong for this album is that the band provides a cohesive sound from track to track, which helps to establish a steady groove and pace for the album as a whole. This will help to keep listeners intrigued and keep them wanting more. The band provides memorable lyrical sections that juxtaposes the intensity of the heightened portions of the work. This is crucial for the band because it gives them the opportunity to really hone in on their instrumental material, so that it is presented in a unique manner. Speaking in terms of instrumentation, blessthefall provides material that is memorable as well as innovative; moreover, they do so by having prominent, heavy breakdowns, by initiating intense percussion patterns that are mixed seamlessly with embellished string accompaniment, and by giving each heavy track its own unique style. The second to last work on the album gives the audience a moment to breathe, for it is an instrumental track that provides solemnity to the audience. From this selection, the band moves to a softer work that closes the album. Overall, I would give this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this album such a score, for it is a decent length for a full-length album, and each song is strong on its own. Additionally, blessthefall gives their audience an album that embodies their sound and musical vision on every single track, so it would be hard to not enjoy this album!
Top Tracks: Promised Ones, Bottomfeeder, and The Reign.
“Hollow Bodies” was blessthefall’s 2013 LP release, which, similar to “Awakening” shook the masses in the scene at its core. The album starts with the track “Exodus”, this is a strong selection for the band, for it gives their audience their characteristic, heavy sound right off-the-bat; however, it doesn’t resonate quite like the beginning of “Awakening”, for this track is a stand-alone selection. When diving deeper into the album, it is easy to see that the band took their sound, and they morphed it in order to evolve with the scene. Meaning, the band simplified aspects of their instrumental literature to allow for differences of timbre and contextual contrast. This was a strong move for the band because it gave their audience the same sound as before but with a simple twist. When looking at the instrumental material, the band continued to provide ornate rhythms and techniques to help provide memorable and innovative work; however, the band, throughout the album, utilizes more electronic semi-tones that blend seamlessly with the instrumental section to present a variety of tones to the audience. With that being said, the band provides a solid balance throughout the album of vocals to instrumental material, which helps to allow both categories to shine throughout. In this album, both sets of vocals (clean and heavy), are stretched in range vertically in terms of pitch as the vocalists toy with different dynamic levels. This helps to give the audience more color in terms of tone, which will help to keep them interested. When comparing this album to their previous release, the band provides the audience with moments of “musical relief” by not being as instrumental heavy all of the time. This gives the band more of an opportunity during live concerts to have heightened moments, which will help them to connect with their audience easier. Additionally, similar to “Awakening”, the band ends their album with a softer track to help ease to the end of their amplified work. Overall, I would also give this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this album such a score because it is another staple for the metal/hardcore scene of music. This album embodies the blessthefall sound but in an evolutionary way, which helps to balance the musical influence of each selection moving from track to track.
Top Tracks: Hollow Bodies, You Wear a Crown but You’re No King, and Carry On.
And the Winner is…
Drum roll please!!!!!!
The winner is “Awakening”. Now, this was a very close call because each album, in my opinion, provides some of the best metal/hardcore music that the scene has to offer, but a choice had to be made. I landed on “Awakening” as the winner, for I looked at the albums in terms of their musicality and intriguing nature. When listening to “Awakening”, each and every track provides instrumental music that is unique to its song, and it is killer. The album provides a tad less opportunity for audience to band connection in a live performance; however, I don’t believe that will hinder the band in any sense. Don’t get me wrong, “Hollow Bodies” is a fantastic album, and some of my favorite songs by blessthefall come from that album, but musically speaking, “Awakening” takes the cake.