Hovering around mediocre and much in need of some originality
Sometimes record company bios that accompany a band's new album can make you laugh out loud with their over the top descriptions of a band's sound and achievements. One such bio that really had me laughing in total disbelief is the said attachment to Phoenix (Arizona) based Christian outfit Blessthefall's debut full-length effort His Last Walk. According to the bio, the five-piece act (Who comprise of vocalist Craig Mabbitt, guitarists Mike Frisby and Eric Lambert, bassist/vocalist Jared Warth and drummer Matt Traynor) not only draw influences from acts such as Alexisonfire, Underoath and As I Lay Dying, but they also incorporate aspects of pop, hip-hop, rap and R&B into their song writing, which has helped redefine their sound beyond the masses that dwell within the screaming/metalcore scene.
But after several listens to His Last Walk, I can honestly say that not a single one of the mentioned outside genre influences can be heard within the eleven tracks on the album. What can be heard however is a solid collection of eleven tracks that stick to the tried and true screaming/metalcore formula that's continually dished out on a daily basis.
But while Blessthefall's debut is a strong effort, His Last Walk is hardly the most original or innovative release. On the musical front, it's hard to fault the musicians involved, as the music is both well executed and flawless, while Mabbitt has mastered the dual clean/screamed vocal delivery. But on a whole, His Last Walk is both unmemorable and unremarkable.
Tracks such as A Message To The Unknown, Guys Like You Make Us Look Bad (The second promotional video clip filmed from the album), the accessible Rise Up and Times Like These are definite standout tracks on the album, but unfortunately it's tracks such as Black Rose Dying (The huge echo on the lead vocals and the drums sounds hollow and demo like), the keyboard/electronic percussion based With Eyes Wide Shut, the acoustic rendition of Rise Up (Which lacks any real emotion) and the uncredited hidden track Purple Dog only add to the album's inconsistency.
His Last Walk isn't a horrible release, but more of a forgettable one. Hopefully with their next full-length release, Blessthefall will finally come up with something a little more original sounding, and write their own bio to avoid the embarrassing hyperbole a second time around.
(Science Records/Ferret Music/Stomp Records Distribution)