Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Hero A Fake - The Future Again

A Hero A Fake are a bit of fresh air in the world of metalcore today. The band doesn’t follow the breakdown heavy and simple chugging styles of mainstream metalcore, rather they opt for smarter riffs and interesting lead guitar parts, which puts them on the progressive metalcore side of things. I found the band a year or two ago when I stumbled upon Let Oceans Lie. I was pretty impressed with the band overall and especially enjoying their focus on guitar solos and the instrumentation in general. The new album takes the sound they’ve established, and builds a bit on it.

The band are now into their third release, entitled The Future Again, and the first thing you might notice if you are already a fan is that Alex Avigliano has left (or possibly been fired from? I couldn’t find any real information about him leaving.) the band, thus there is a change in clean vocals, which I presume have been taken over by Justin Brown, since he is the only credited vocalist and he already tackles the screamed vocals. I’ll say upfront that Justin’s clean vocals aren’t bad, and the old clean vocals never impressed me much, but the change doesn’t do anything to help or detract from the music, although they do come off a bit less whiny than the previous cleans. Justin’s screamed vocals though, which are a blend of mid range raspy screams to lower growls, are as good as ever.

As far as instrumentation goes things overall sound better in terms of production and there seems to be a bit of a better flow in this album over the previous two releases, which is definitely a welcome aspect. However there isn’t the same jump in writing on this album from Let Oceans Lie, like there was from Volatile. Although that may stem from the fact that Let Oceans Lie raised the bar for this band pretty high. The Future Again is definitely a bit of a step forward, but nothing too mind blowing.

Now I don't want the fact that they aren't markedly improved to detract from the fact that the instrumentation overall is very good. There is interesting guitar solo's and excellent drum work to be found throughout the albums entirety. There's no denying the technical capabilities of this band.

There are also small amounts of electronic elements on the album that seem to be trying to help establish some kind of atmosphere throughout, but they are too few and far between to really do so. They remind me a tad bit of the atmospheric portions of The Contortionist’s work though.

This album while both sounding and flowing better overall, is significantly shorter than Let Oceans Lie. It has fewer songs overall, clocking in at eight tracks, and the average track length is closer to less than four minutes, whereas Let Oceans Lie was roughyl closer to five minutes. It's not a huge change, but this album does feel significantly shorter.

The album overall though feels smarter than most metalcore today, and it’s refreshing to hear a band that isn’t throwing breakdowns in every thirty seconds, but rather has actual guitar solos, smarter than average writing, and impressive technical skills in general.

If you liked Let Oceans Lie, The Future Again is likely an album you’ll be interested in hearing.

The album is set to release on July 17th, via Victory Records, so keep an eye out for it and help support some solid metalcore!

Also, here's a track off the album for you guys:

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