Blessthefall - Witness
Record Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: October 5, 2009
Post-hardcore bands are a dime-a-dozen these days, and it is ever-increasingly harder to find one that's actually worthwhile listen to. This might be due to the over excessive amounts of brokenCYDEitis, seeing as bands might actually be willing to sell out to get that fanbase they desperately need to get big. But with that surge of pure shit, we've also been seeing a bunch of post-hardcore bands emerging that are worthwhile (see: Broadway) and bands that are releasing albums that make them even more worthwhile to listen to. The latter could be said about Blessthefall, who have just released their sophomore LP, Witness.
Before I go on, I'll have to be completely honest. This is my first time listening through a whole Blessthefall album. This might be due to previous preconceptions about the band or just for the fact that Fearless Records' post-hardcore seems relatively boring to me.
Witness is, to say the very least, a hectic moshfest that any post-hardcore fan should really enjoy. With Craig Mabbitt now gone from the band, we have the new singer, Beau Boken, taking over lead vocals. Boken does a great job filling in the clean vocals. His voice isn't the cleanest, but it does work with the nature of the album, and is rather on par with post-hardcore singers. He may not sing ridiculously high, but that's a decent change of pace in comparison to many bands taking the scene by storm.
Vocals aside, basically every song on the album has some sort of breakdown. That may not attract everyone, but it instills the sense of a rushed, hectic pace to the album, which is less evident in many albums these days, as many bands tend to put in a slow mushy song to get the girls. Blessthefall has something like that with the song "Stay Still." Blessthefall still manages to keep an upbeat pace for a "slow song," and that's appreciated for a heavier album. Blessthefall also manages to capture small elements that set them apart from the crowd. "God Wears Gucci," for example, starts off with drumsticks beating against each other in a quick, rapid rhythm, which is a short, (more or less) creative start to a song. "Last Ones Left" takes a different approach with how to start a song. Rather than a breakdown, heavy riffs or the like, we get Beau shouting out "If we're going down!" before anything takes place. It's the small things like these that make Witness more appealing to the ear.
For yet another band that has established a fanbase within a scene where men have pink hair and scream about getting crunk, Blessthefall has been able to produce another album that wouldn't be considered selling out. Witness is a strong, fast-paced album that should have some decent play time on your post-hardcore filled iPod, thanks to some small, but noticeable hooks and a new, fresh singer that should please.