As early in the year as it is, 2018 seems very promising for Blessthefall (BTF). The Scottsdale, Ariz. natives broke up with Fearless Records last year and in late January they announced their new contract with Rise Records. With that new deal came their sixth-studio album: Hard Feelings.
The album starts off with the first single ‘Wishful Sinking’. It is electrifying from start to finish—composed with a synthesized rhythm and reverberating drums. Beau Bokan sings his melancholic vocals that intertwine nicely with the technicality of the guitar riffs provided by Eric Lambert and Elliot Gruenberg—creating a golden, heartfelt intro.
Alike other metalcore acts that have incorporated electronica elements in new music, BTF follows suit while keeping their metalcore grind alive. For those that have listened to BTF from the beginning, it might seem like the band is just following a musical trend within the genre that seems to work for them. For instance, ‘Find Yourself’ is one of the most energetic tracks on the album. The bass lines and the percussion go hand in hand creating a forceful tune made from electro/metalcore dreams.
The structure of ‘Melodramatic’ creates a perfect mix of genuine Rock n’ Roll that comes with a gritty punch. It has one of the better breakdowns in the album. The same can be said about ‘Feeling Low’. The melodramatic banger is a whirlwind of melodic pureness where the band climaxes into the bridge—it’s a headbanger’s dream come true.
Unlike previous efforts, Hard Feelings comes as a softer approach—fewer headbanging breakdowns, singing vocals overshadowing screams and calmer beats. Yet, some songs stay true to the BTF formula we’ve known to hear. ‘Cutthroat’ is the heaviest song on the album. It features Jared Warth’s heaviest bassline that lays out the perfect foundation for the guitars and drum fills.
The last couple of tracks come through quite calmly. ‘Sakura Blues’ is a melodically, emotion-driven song. Bokan leads the song with every note. This album features Bokan’s strongest vocals we’ve heard yet. “Welcome Home” has a melancholic guitar that serves as a backdrop for Bokan’s emotional plead. It’s a rollercoaster built on raw emotion and what makes the song extra special is the surprise feature angelic voice of Bokan’s daughter, Rocket Wild.
The quintet takes you on an emotional journey with Hard Feelings and are not afraid to express themselves lyrically and musically. Each track is thematically the same, but they individually evoke feelings that at some point or another we all can relate to in one or another. They took on a new direction that worked but hopefully they will stick to it.