Album Review: Funeral for a Friend – Welcome Home Armageddon!

By on Thursday, 17th March 2011 at 2:00 pm

There are some bands in the world that you just can’t understand why people like so much. You know why they have fans, but can’t understand the unequivocal admiration from their legions of followers. One of these bands are the Welsh rockers Funeral for a Friend. Described by many as screamo, post-hardcore or even emo, Funeral for a Friend manage to encapsulate the minds and hearts of 14-year old girls. Since their inception in 2003 with ‘Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation’, FFAF have grown into one of the UK’s biggest post-hardcore acts and tour all over the world. So can this quintet from the valleys prove their worth with their new album?

Released this past Monday (14 March), ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ is Funeral for a Friend’s fifth studio album. Known for combining a blend of soaring vocals and crushing metal riffs, their sound is one of ups and downs. Unfortunately, the content of the album tends to be the latter. It’s a well thought out mix of metal, punk and rock but ultimately goes nowhere. The LP begins with a slow and chilled intro which fades into the first proper song, entitled ‘Old Hymns’. It’s fast and furious, with drummer Ryan Richards seemingly trying to smash his kit to pieces. This, however, is where the fun ends. Even with Matthew Davies-Kreye’s voice being as emotive as ever, there’s no real hook. Nothing stands out other than the fact it is fast.

The upcoming single from the album is ‘Sixteen’. A pop-rocky affair which sounds more like ‘Take This To Your Grave’ era Fall Out Boy than these Welsh screamers. Davies-Kreye even seems to sing with a slight American accent, which is off-putting more than anything else. Suffering the same fate as the tracks previous, there’s nothing for the listener to latch on to. It simply plays in the background and fades away.

There are one or two tracks which could warrant being played again. ‘Owls (Are Watching)’ and ‘Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don’t’ are both heavy and hectic with an emotional subtext. The punk drums remain constantly rushed and powerful, pushing the song onward getting faster and faster. But an album can’t be saved on the quality of its drumming or for being heavy, and ‘Welcome Home Armageddon!’ cannot save itself: too many songs that disappear into the ether, anthemic choruses that simply don’t work and, at times, vocals which sound strained and incapable of rising over the music. Ultimately, the LP falls short in its songwriting. All the elements to make a good song are apparent but they just don’t work well if at all. There’s nothing to keep your attention or keep you interested, it would be an amazement if you keep the album on for its entirety. Something which shouldn’t happen for a band well into their career. Perhaps it’s time to rethink strategy?


‘Welcome Home Armageddon!’, the new album from Funeral for a Friend, is available now from Distiller Records.

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One Response

2:45 pm
17th March 2011

Bullshit, Fucking LOL. You didn’t listen to the same album as me. Trully amazing record

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