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Funeral For A Friend “Welcome Home Armageddon”

Funeral For A Friend - Welcome Home Armageddon“Welcome Home Armageddon” is the latest offering from Welsh post hardcore/screamo/emo rockers Funeral For A Friend.  “What does Welsh mean?” you say?  It means the band is from Wales, of the western side of England.  Now, remember that because from the sounds of this album, you will be hearing more from these guys in the future.  This is the band’s fifth studio album but one that sets the tone for a very impressive future.
The album has all the typical flair of a post-hardcore album:  the semi-ethereal vocals, the high pitched, mildly overdriven guitars, the crash cymbal heavy drum beats and vocals of despair.  Take the following lines from the second track, “Old Hymns”:
“I used to mean something to you,
But now I’m tired and alone.
I used to mean something to you,
Locked out and left here in the cold.”
For me, these lyrics give the same vibe all screamo type lyrics give me:  the world is unfair and I am out of eyeliner, so I will have to borrow my mom’s van to go buy more.  That being said, this is not a bad thing.  After all, it is part of the genre and it stays true to its form.  I have to remind myself that I am not the optimal audience for every type of music, but at the same time, I am able to see when good music exists and when it does not.
On a cursory listen, one can file this album under “just another post-hardcore album”.  But not so fast,  make sure you take a close listen to this album (this of course means I recommend picking it up, but I am getting ahead of myself).  A closer listen reveals what sets this album apart from just another album in the store.
Underneath the frame of post-hardcore/screamo here is a jewel in the rough. “Welcome Home Armageddon” shows signs of taking the genre and pushing the envelope to its limits.  The typical sounds make way for moments of pure insanity and aggression.  The guitars begin to crunch more, the vocals get downright gnarly sounding and the tempos pick up.  While many bands have moments of heaviness in their otherwise softer sound, Funeral For A Friend shows that these are not just add ins to attract more listeners, but rather are integral parts of their style.  In a genre where everyone changes for the same, Funeral For a Friend truly stand out as an act ahead of the pack.
This album is a must buy for those who listen to post-hardcore/screamo/emo and enjoy the genre to its fullest.  For those who like slightly heavier music, this is also a great pickup as it shows how a talented band can tie together the common roots of the genre with the muscle of being a much heavier act.  The album has solid production quality and the instrumentation perform the right parts at the right times without sounding cliché or overdone.  This is truly a leader  of the genre.
Track Listing:
  1. This Side Of Brightness
  2. Old Hymns
  3. Front Row Seats To The End Of The World
  4. Sixteen
  5. Aftertaste
  6. Spinning Over The Island
  7. Man Alive
  8. Owls (Are Watching)
  9. Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don’t
  10. Medicated
  11. Broken Foundation
  12. Welcome Home Armageddon

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