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Funeral For A Friend - Conduit (Album Review)

Monday, 21 January 2013 Written by James Goodall
Funeral For A Friend - Conduit (Album Review)

Welsh post-hardcore outfit Funeral for a Friend’s full circle revival has been completed with the release of their sixth studio album ‘Conduit’. In the past the Welsh rockers haven’t been renowned for their consistency with numerous line-up changes and their previous release history having varied wildly since their much lauded and highly praised debut album ‘Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation’ back in 2003. ‘Conduit’ however further strengthens the foundations that the band’s last two releases built and shows a positive trajectory that fans will have been hoping to see since the early releases that the band had to offer.

ImageThe record is the first to feature former Rise to Remain drummer Pat Lundy and there are no doubts that his inclusion has raised the standard of an already high quality within the band. There’s absolutely no argument that this is Funeral for a Friend’s heaviest record to date, it is however also the shortest with a running time of just under 30 minutes and features only two tracks (‘Death Comes to Us All’ and the record’s closing track ‘High Castles’) with a duration of longer than three minutes. This isn’t a bad thing though as the band pack more fury, anger and hard hitting lyrics in to a two minute and a half minute offering that most other bands of the same genre would struggle to achieve over double the amount of time.

‘Conduit’s’ sound can be compared to the band’s ‘Between Order and Model’ and ‘Four Ways to Scream Your Name’ EPs, the result is a crushing 11-track record laden with metalcore guitar riffs and a hardcore punk feel that not only heightens the senses but will also undoubtedly leave you unable to sit still. There’s a certain kineticism that flows through the album as freely and smoothly as the metalcore style breakdowns, harsh sounding vocals and emphatic instrumentals which not only creates the atmosphere you’d expect from a post-hardcore release, but also distinguishes it away from the usual sound and style found within the genre.

As with every new release there are a few standout tracks, although with a record packed with music of this quality it’s difficult to distinguish which those are! However if you’re looking for those which hold that ‘extra replay value’ then you’ll most likely turn your attention to the opening track ‘Spine’, the fast paced and anger laden ‘Grey’ or ‘Best Friends and Hospital Beds’ all of which demonstrate the band’s ability to not only adapt to a new style but to include those key elements which are identifiable to a Funeral for a Friend release.

I was quick to point out that there have been numerous line-up changes within the band; the one solid foundation that has stayed the same throughout the band’s strong ten-year career is vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreye. The vocals on this are a lot heavier than recent releases; Davies-Kreye’s vocals are much darker and have been greatly improved, every track on ‘Conduit’ is suited to the style of vocals that Davies has been consistently producing for years and it’s perhaps the vocals and the lyrical focus of the album that long term fans will be most familiar with.

A large majority of the album lyrically focuses on things from the passage of time and the power of advertising, to the morbid sense of the reality of friends dying, there’s an almost exultant, vibrant break with the track ‘Nails’ which, when combined with the instrumental aspect that the record demonstrates, will leave people both interested and excited as to where the band will take further releases.

Funeral for a Friend will never find themselves at the forefront of the rapidly growing UK hardcore scene, they’ve created a record which will captivate a new target audience. 'Conduit' is a far cry from the alternative rock offering which was offered in the shape of 2011’s ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ album, and it’s the band’s ability to do this which will ensure that this album will be as popular amongst the older generation of fans as it will be with the new one.

Whilst 'Conduit' isn’t something which will push Funeral for a Friend back to the heights they were at after their first releases however, it’s a bold statement of defiance that the band aren’t afraid to try new things and to explore other genres and areas of music. It’s been a long ten years since the band elevated themselves to the position of one of music’s best offerings and although the journey they’ve taken hasn’t always been a smooth one, it’s an album like 'Conduit' which goes to show why they’re not only still a firm favourite amongst fans but why they’re still capable of making music for the next ten years.

‘Conduit’ is a fantastic record from a band that may have just found their feet again after such a troubled few years. It’s rare that a band as well established as Funeral for a Friend ventures in to something new, however ‘Conduit’ is a defiant offering to musical normality and one which has incredible replay value.

Funeral for a Friend are back and whilst they’re never going to go back to being of one the biggest bands that the UK has to offer, they’re certainly returning as one of the best.

‘Conduit’ is released via ‘Distiller records’ on Monday 28th January 2013 in the UK and through ‘The End records’ on February 5th in the US. The band are on tour across the UK through January and February.

Funeral For A Friend UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed January 23rd 2013 - The Limelight 2, Belfast
Thu January 24th 2013 - Nerve Centre, Derry
Fri January 25th 2013 - Cypress Express, Cork
Sat January 26th 2013 - Fibbers Magees, Dublin
Mon January 28th 2013 - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Tue January 29th 2013 - Fleece, Bristol
Wed January 30th 2013 - White Rabbit, Plymouth
Thu January 31st 2013 - Cavern, Exeter
Sat February 2nd 2013 - Sound Circus, Bournemouth
Sun February 3rd 2013 - Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Mon February 4th 2013 - Haunt, Brighton
Wed February 6th 2013 - Westcoast Bar, Margate
Thu February 7th 2013 - Cambridge Junction, Cambridge
Fri February 8th 2013 - Nottingham Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Sat February 9th 2013 - Norwich UEA Waterfront, Norwich
Mon February 11th 2013 - York Duchess, York
Tue February 12th 2013 - Cockpit, Leeds
Wed February 13th 2013 - King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Thu February 14th 2013 - Northumbria University Students Union, Newcastle upon Tyne
Sat February 16th 2013 - NQ Live (formerly MoHo Live), Manchester
Sun February 17th 2013 - Sugarmill, Stoke
Mon February 18th 2013 - The Garage, London
Tue February 19th 2013 - Asylum, Birmingham
Sat March 2nd 2013 - Roadmender, Northampton, Northampton
Sun March 3rd 2013 - O2 Academy Oxford, Oxford
Thu April 18th 2013 - O2 Academy Leicester, Leicester
Sun April 21st 2013 - 53 Degrees, Preston

Click Here to Compare & Buy Funeral For A Friend Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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