For The Fallen Dreams
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Back Burner
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1. Say What You Will
2. Deep Down Inside
3. Complicate the Situation
4. Only Unopened Arms
5. My Anthem-Like Symphony
6. Big Empty
7. Bottom Feeders
8. Don\'t Give Up, Don\'t Give In
9. Human Collective
10. Let Go
11. Yellow
12. Fist Fight

Landing in stores this week is Back Burner, the highly anticipated third full length from Rise record\'s For the Fallen Dreams. Despite the adverse effects of musical chairs with various members over the last several years, the Lansing, Michigan act finds themselves retaining exactly what made them a staple in modern hardcore: perseverance. Utilizing the band\'s natural progression to amalgamate a metalcore release that hinges on breakdowns and anthemic choruses. The follow-up to their previous album, Relentless which to say was an underground success is an understatement emerges from a much different place. This release is also their first produced by former A Day To Remember guitarist, Tom Denny, and also marks Jim Hocking as being the only original member (the core members of the band going on to other acts like The Ghost Inside and Legend). The aforementioned maybe a catalyst in the band\'s directional evolution, which seems to be a risk many bands won\'t undertake due to the phrase \"sell-out\" being tossed around so whimsically.
Vocalist, Dylan Richter who joined in 2008, was deemed a perfect fit for the band after the release of their debut album, Changes, which in my opinion had FTFD poised to be one of the more authentic hardcore acts to come out of the scene in years. Dylan\'s vocals again prove to be a versatile and indispensable asset to the band providing variety with a great vocal range while the band members sound at home playing a mix of punk and metal. From a production standpoint, the sound value has gone down a notch; trading in a tighter, more unified sound for a more textured, layered medium depriving many of the breaks that would have given the album more air to breathe.

Channeling a more formulaic structure was obviously a focal point when they approached the writing stage. Where I felt many of the songs from Relentless blended into each other, Back Burner somehow creates a composition almost overflowing with clean melodies and thick, yet detailed guitar work. Stark highlights like \"The Big Empty\" and \"Bottom Feeders\" contrasts while employing a consistent soundscape drawing from the copious spectrum of both traditional and post hardcore. It works for me, but may not go over as swimmingly for the \"die-hards.\"

Listen close to the filigree. It may take a few listens but Back Burner is appealing on many different levels, granted there\'s nothing groundbreaking on the record it is a more focused and refined effort from a band that sticks to their guns when it comes to providing a straight-forward, well-rounded metal album.

RATING: 8/11

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Back Burner