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Fear Before - Fear Before Album Cover

Fear Before - Fear Before

Reviewed by
8.2
Fear BeforeFear Before
Release Date: October 28, 2008
Record Label: Equal Vision
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Just from glancing at the album art, you can make the claim that Fear Before is starting fresh. On their self-titled album, their fourth on Equal Vision, the cover replicates the band’s approach. New members, new name, and positive lyrics all led to the rebirth of Fear Before. The shortened name (the Denver quintet dropped the “The March Of Flames” earlier this fall) replicates the attitude of the new album. It’s ten tracks long, featuring no filler while continuing to hit hard.

2006’s The Always Open Mouth set the pinnacle for the band. It was experimental, heavy, and progressive, thus gaining a lot of critical acclaim. Knowing it would be difficult to follow up, the group enlisted Casey Bates to produce once again, and the major difference between this and TAOM is there are less sporadic noises while moving faster, hitting harder, and being a more concise package.

Opening track “Treeman” continues with the dark vibes that were present on TAOM, but gets off to a shaky start with vocals seemingly trying to resemble Helmet; it’s unsettling and a weird way to start the first song, but the standard call and return vocals of David Marion and Adam Fisher kick in soon. Musically, the guitars are frantic thanks to Fisher and Zachary Hutchings. “Fear Before Doesn’t Listen To People Who Don’t Like Them” is paced quickly, featuring stellar drumming from Clayton Holyoak. The track (as well as the entire album) showcases the singing ability of Marion. While his voice isn’t the best, it fits the personality of the song very well.

“Get Your Life Together” is one of my favorite tracks as the guitars crunch in unison with Holyoak’s drumming. It’s a sludgy song that is exceptionally heavy hitting, closing out with a barrage of huge guitars chords. The album loses its focus on the misplaced “Jabberwocky,” which definitely falls into the category of “Least Favorite Fear Before Song Ever.” “Everything’s Not Shitty” is full of urgency, but falters a little with the inclusion of robot voices. “Tycho” crashes upon you, as the guitar riffs flow freely within the track. “Bad Days” samples the movie The Orphanage, and has that creepy vibe throughout. Fear Before closes with “Review Our Lives (Epic),” a flippin’ sledgehammer of a song. The Fall Of Troy’s Thomas Erak offers this unique voice to the mix, as riffs needle in and out. The bridge finishes the album in a frenzy, leaving you dizzy and wanting to get back on the ride that is Fear Before.

The easiest way for me to sum up Fear Before is that it has the soul of Art Damage while maintaining the substance that is The Always Open Mouth. Fear Before continues with the sound they established on TAOM, while adding just a little bit more heaviness and experimentation. Their instrumentation is like Kobe Bryant; it consistently brings their “A” game, while vocally it is more like Lamar Odom. The vocals are all over the place and are the biggest flaw of Fear Before. You can definitely tell they were aiming at trying new things, but the some of those efforts fall flat on their face, especially in “Treeman” and “Everything’s Not Shitty.” Most of the time, Marion and Fisher’s duel vocals fit the music well, but other times they are just cringe-worthy.

Fear Before has never been afraid to try new things, and they never want to write the same album twice. Their latest effort is successful in achieving that. Fans of The Always Open Mouth will adore this, while those wanting to get into the post-hardcore/experimental rock scene can use this as a gateway album. Fear Before have begun the next chapter in their career, and while there are growing pains at times, Fear Before is a successful first step.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Treeman
2. I’m Fine Today
3. Fear Before Doesn’t Listen To People Who Don’t Like Them
4. Get Your Life Together
5. Jabberwocky
6. Everything’s Not Shitty
7. Tycho
8. Bad Days
9. Stay Weird
10. Review Our Lives (Epic)
Produced by: Casey Bates

Fear Before are:
David Marion – vocals
Adam Fisher – guitars/keys/vocals/programming
Zachary Hutchings – guitars
Clayton Holyoak – drums
Michael Madruga – bass

Buy now @

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 94
01:47 AM on 10/29/08
#2
Sic Transit Zeb
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good review but idk about an 83. I'd prolly have this in the 70s. Some of the vocals and lyrics are just terrible
04:19 AM on 10/29/08
#3
awakeohsleeper
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I don't really understand why they changed their name. Seems bizarre, even with member changes.
05:04 AM on 10/29/08
#4
Jeremy Aaron
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I haven't really written anything in a while and I thought this would be a good album to review to get back into it, so I started one last night. You have a little bit of a different take than I do, at least so far. It seemed to me like they were looking to incorporate a lot of the elements that they experimented with on The Always Open Mouth but, at the same time, create a more straightforward rock album that's perhaps a bit more accessible and less esoteric. Also, I thought that the vocals on this album were particularly successful with Marion stepping up in a big way and the interplay between Marion and Fisher is better than ever before. Still, it's a great review, as always.
05:55 AM on 10/29/08
#5
fhsbb232
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I liked the references to Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom about Fear Before....lol
08:34 AM on 10/29/08
#6
TheHeretic
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I haven't really written anything in a while and I thought this would be a good album to review to get back into it, so I started one last night. You have a little bit of a different take than I do, at least so far. It seemed to me like they were looking to incorporate a lot of the elements that they experimented with on The Always Open Mouth but, at the same time, create a more straightforward rock album that's perhaps a bit more accessible and less esoteric. Also, I thought that the vocals on this album were particularly successful with Marion stepping up in a big way and the interplay between Marion and Fisher is better than ever before. Still, it's a great review, as always.

I agree with this completely. It seems like a more accessible album and it's more infectious than ever and I do like the vocal interplay between Marion and Fisher. Great album.
08:37 AM on 10/29/08
#7
Drew Beringer
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As I said, the vocals fit in with the majority of the songs, but that doesn't make them good, per se.
08:41 AM on 10/29/08
#8
Özgür Kurtoglu
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I won't get into what I think about the music 'cause I haven't listened to it yet. But I'll say flat out that the name-change is extremely dumb. Fear Before The March of Flames explained exactly what the hell was going on in their music, it was one of the best names in music ever in my opinion.
08:45 AM on 10/29/08
#9
SmokieB.High
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Good review, Jabberwocky definatly leaves something to be desired but i wouldn't call it the worst fear before (the march of flames) song ever they had a couple stinkers on odd how people shake (although a awesome disc). The first song "Treeman" reminded me of a dillinger escape plan song. I liked your comparison of the record being a mix between "art damage" and "always open mouth" but i found with "fear before" they experimented more with vocals then they did on "AOM". Which makes me kinda think this is sort of a transition record and the next will be even greater then anything they've ever done. Now that Marion and fisher will be practicing his vocals more because these songs are far more difficult vocally then anything they have ever done
08:45 AM on 10/29/08
Drew Beringer
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I won't get into what I think about the music 'cause I haven't listened to it yet. But I'll say flat out that the name-change is extremely dumb. Fear Before The March of Flames explained exactly what the hell was going on in their music, it was one of the best names in music ever in my opinion.
I agree, I'm not a fan of the name change, but I think my distaste for the name isn't review material. haha
08:47 AM on 10/29/08
SmokieB.High
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I won't get into what I think about the music 'cause I haven't listened to it yet. But I'll say flat out that the name-change is extremely dumb. Fear Before The March of Flames explained exactly what the hell was going on in their music, it was one of the best names in music ever in my opinion.
There are far worse band names out there then "Fear before". In my opinion they should have kept thier name as "March of Flames" for 3 records, then progress the name to "Fear after the march of flames" now that would have been sick... progressing your band name with your music
08:47 AM on 10/29/08
Özgür Kurtoglu
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I agree, I'm not a fan of the name change, but I think my distaste for the name isn't review material. haha

If you worked for Pitchfork, it would be.
I actually like Pitchfork though so that's not an insult.
08:48 AM on 10/29/08
Özgür Kurtoglu
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There are far worse band names out there then "Fear before". In my opinion they should have kept thier name as "March of Flames" for 3 records, then progress the name to "Fear after the march of flames" now that would have been sick... progressing your band name with your music

Hell, I don't know, Fear Before is pretty fucking bad. But I'm fine with it, I'll steal "The March of Flames" and blow you all away, you just wait.
08:50 AM on 10/29/08
SmokieB.High
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Hell, I don't know, Fear Before is pretty fucking bad. But I'm fine with it, I'll steal "The March of Flames" and blow you all away, you just wait.
I could see people asking them what thier band name is and they go "Fear before..." then have the person asking the question waiting for something more in the name like "Fear before the ducks" or something
08:53 AM on 10/29/08
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I could see people asking them what thier band name is and they go "Fear before..." then have the person asking the question waiting for something more in the name like "Fear before the ducks" or something

Exactly. From being the band with an eerie and malevolent name, they went to being a band who'll be ridiculously easy to ridicule for their name.

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