Eric Schackne

REVIEW: In Fear And Faith – ‘In Fear And Faith’

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Get down! Run for cover!  They’re just overhead!  Other exclamations you might expect in a war movie!!!;)  Oh holy post-hardcore.  I haven’t listened to new music in this genre for a bit and I really miss the compelling symphony of metal and gothic rock.  When I listen to albums, if the vocals aren’t right up front clear as day, my musical brain just pays attention to everything else and it instead becomes about feel.  In Fear And Faith’s self-titled release, In Fear And Faith(duh) has dropped me off in a warzone and theatrically-named“Intro”(duh) sets the scene.

“The Calm Before Reform” introduces the impending doom of my new surroundings, giving me some great guitar and scream work.  “A Silent Drum” has a frantic characteristic as it speeds along toward epic proportions, stacking strings and synths behind everything.  There is an interesting combination in “Look What You Made Me Do” where heavy, screamed verses are smoothed back down by melodic high harmonies.

I find it interesting how there’s a lot of classical piano in metal and all the post-hardcore bands from the past decade or so.  “Soul Survivor” is all about shoving it through a distortion pedal.  This is Mozart on acid.  Oh by the way, back to my war-zone scenario, this feels like that moment where you find out you’re not alone and all the survivors start to band together.  “A Creeping Dose” would be the villain’s anthem, the villians being the post-apocalyptic zombies or robot monsters that are terrorizing the remaining survivors.  With some great double-bass moments and a breakdown fit to end all, this is a perfect blend of salty and sweet.

Speaking of a perfect blend of savory and sweet, “It All Comes Out (On The Way Down)” delivers an undeniably romantic anthem.  This will be one of my favorites, and I’m pretty sure they’ve got a lyric video up for this right now on their YouTube.

Well, we’re prepared for our final stand against Lord Bad-Guy, everybody is all tuckered out.  “Enigmatic” gives me this Beautiful Mind tone with the incessantly-arpeggiated piano composition.  This is an unexpected four minutes of bliss.

“Dream Catcher” is our ride into battle.  This track almost gallops with a wall of noise.  The gang vocals and sparse hits make this breakdown my favorite so far, bringing that heavy track to an epic finish.  Immediately, “You Had Your Chance” throws you into the fight.  This is my face-off with King Mr. Evil-Doer.  Some excellentally metalled-out four-on-the-floor percussion helps the momentum into the choruses.  Saving the more intense breakdowns for the end of the album for sure, there’s another musician-impressing outro here.

I think we won the battle, mostly because “Last Man Stranded” has this post-apocalyptic tone.  Affected drums and subtly-applied effects to the vocals set this one apart from the rest in a completely different way than the acoustic-piano ballad “Enigmatic” did.  This is a beautiful song, and there’s this galloping feel again from time to time that will stand as the glorious ride to freedom(and a sequel with too much CGI for its only good).

The final track “Self Fulfilling Prophecy” almost feels like a glory ride too, but this time they take a trip through every trick in their book.  Incredible double-bass work, sweet breakdowns, intricate piano parts, soaring vocals, epic strings and choral arrangements, and abruptly…it’s gone.  I hear the opening sounds of “Intro” and I rush to avoid reliving that adventure for now.

In Fear And Faith puts up an expertly-engineered record that is infused with musicianship fit for jazz as much as speed-metal.  This album isn’t one I could cycle through over and over again in one sitting, but I would definitely put the album in with the intent to listen start-to-finish.  Each time I listen, I’m sure I’ll find a new story, and that’s the beauty of art.  We gift each other with personal content in hopes that others can find something personal about it too; and I have.

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