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Drew Beringer 10/29/10 06:30 AM

Senses Fail - The Fire
 
Senses FailThe Fire
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Record Label: Vagrant


Four years ago, Senses Fail displayed a sonic shift in their music with the releases of their second album, Still Searching. Featuring improved lyrics and vocals, as well as a more aggressive approach in their song writing, the band won over new fans with this release. It was so well-received that fans were disappointed when 2008’s Life Is Not A Waiting Room was more of the same. The New Jersey quartet wasn’t pleased either, as vocalist Buddy Nielsen voiced his displeasure over that record and vowed that the follow-up would be the band’s best yet. Nielsen and company went into the studio to create their most complete album ever, aptly named The Fire. Full of aggression and just enough catchiness to please both types of fans, The Fire is an album that most of Senses Fail’s peers wish they could make.

Based on the previous three albums, no one would confuse Senses Fail as being very posi. Macabre lyrics about chainsaws and knives littered their debut, while their previous two albums have shown a much more mature approach from Nielsen, as he confronts his past demons and his loss of faith. But one of the most refreshing things about The Fire is the glimmer of optimism in Nielsen’s lyrics. Sure, he is still pissed off at his father (listen to “News Year Eve” for evidence), but he also knows that he needs to forgive to move on (as heard on the pulverizing “Coward”). The catchy first single, “Saint Anthony,” also displays a silver lining, as Nielsen explains, “Because I’ll make it through this no matter the odds/all bets are on “It’s always darkest just before the dawn,” over the needling guitar riffs of Garrett Zablocki.

Of course it’s not all roses and sunshine on The Fire. Fans looking for the angry side of Nielsen and company need to look no further than the furious “New Years Eve,” as Nielsen’s screams have reached a new level of furor. The aforementioned “Coward” features the most passionate breakdown in the band’s discography, while “Landslide” flows in the vein of “Can’t Be Saved” (from 2006’s Still Searching). The pinnacle occurs during “Lifeboats,” which may be the heaviest song the band has ever made. Zablocki’s guitar chords, along with drummer Dan Trapp, pummel throughout, while Nielsen seamlessly transitions from clean to screamed vocals.

The final two tracks summarize the mindset of Nielsen and the band perfectly. The urgent thrash of “Irish Eyes” once again features his rough growl, while the melodic “Hold On” closes the album in fine fashion. Musically, the songs are dramatically different, but both possess the same theme that’s present throughout The Fire – the fear and rush of changing your life and letting go of your past and fighting your demons. Nielsen knows he isn’t all the way out of the dark, but he’s making progress towards the light, and these final two tracks are perfect examples.

The most impressive thing about Senses Fail is that, nearly 10 years into the game, they are still writing honest and genuine rock music without succumbing to the gimmicks other “rock” bands place in their music. These Jersey boys have found a way to remain relevant in a genre that has caused the demise of many other bands. Yes, there are imperfections (a recycled riff here, some flat vocals there), but overall The Fire is the essential Senses Fail record to own. Time and time again, Senses Fail proves that whatever doesn’t kill only makes you stronger.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. The Fire
2. Saint Anthony
3. New Years Eve
4. Safe House
5. Coward
6. Landslide
7. Headed West
8. Lifeboats
9. Nero
10. Irish Eyes
11. Hold On
Produced by: Brian McTernan

Senses Fail is:
Buddy Nielson – vocals
Dan Trapp – drums
Garrett Zablocki – guitar
Jason Black – bass
Zach Roach – touring guitar

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile; Official Twitter


batmannj 10/29/10 06:36 AM

Nice review.

I still prefer Still Searching if I have to own one Senses Fail album, but Buddy's vocals and lyrics have improved a ton since Let It Enfold You. Coward and New Years Eve are my favorite tracks

hibbityhoo 10/29/10 06:40 AM

you are a terrible writer

aradiantsunrise 10/29/10 06:47 AM

Good stuff. Really into this album.

rebeccafrank 10/29/10 06:55 AM

Great review! I really like this album, especially "Coward." I actually interviewed Buddy recently about it if anyone's curious: http://www.ourstage.com/blog/2010/10...th-senses-fail

zachff 10/29/10 07:01 AM

If you own one Senses Fail album, it should be Let It Enfold You.
If you want to buy another one, buy From the Depths of Dreams.

After that, they're all about the same.

xent 10/29/10 07:02 AM

this album is better than the previous album

Britney'sEars 10/29/10 07:08 AM

can't get Saint Anthony out of my head. Good review. Good album. Not much between the last 3 albums, sound and quality wise. I enjoy them, though. Consistency wins me over.

randys950 10/29/10 07:10 AM

This album is good, real good, but its not a "still searching" there's something about that album that captures me, I'm enjoying the fire none the less, but so far it seems like all the songs are structured the same, but I still have to spin the album a few more times

Thomas Nassiff 10/29/10 07:11 AM

I agree with the review. This is their best record and Lifeboats is their best song.

Drew Beringer 10/29/10 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hibbityhoo (Post 78232832)
you are a terrible writer


Aww thanks

Drew Beringer 10/29/10 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zachff (Post 78233272)
If you own one Senses Fail album, it should be Let It Enfold You.
If you want to buy another one, buy From the Depths of Dreams.

After that, they're all about the same.

You want people to own their two worst records? Lol

DontCare 10/29/10 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rebeccafrank (Post 78233132)
Great review! I really like this album, especially "Coward." I actually interviewed Buddy recently about it if anyone's curious: http://www.ourstage.com/blog/2010/10...th-senses-fail


Solid interview. You asked some questions I hadn't seen asked in other interviews. Thanks for directing me towards this.

DontCare 10/29/10 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zachff (Post 78233272)
If you own one Senses Fail album, it should be Let It Enfold You.
If you want to buy another one, buy From the Depths of Dreams.

After that, they're all about the same.



Haha did you read what you typed out before you hit submit?

Evan123 10/29/10 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zachff (Post 78233272)
If you own one Senses Fail album, it should be Let It Enfold You.
If you want to buy another one, buy From the Depths of Dreams.

After that, they're all about the same.

naw, if you like 17yr old music yeah that's great, their newer stuff is much better.