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Album Review: Senses Fail - The Fire

Now on to their fourth full-length, Senses Fail return with 'The Fire'; eleven tracks of passion-filled, aggressive US post-hardcore with the opening title-track setting the standard early on. Driving guitars back up Buddy Nielsen's soaring vocals, something that the band continue to produce release after release. Nevertheless its an impressive start, with an overall sound that has urgency, and demands your attention with the leading line of 'Its ok to feel lost."

Throughout it comes apparent that Nielsen and company are more aggressive this time round, with 'New Year's Eve' being an early example. "Screamo" vocals dominate the verse before Nielsen brings a strong, melodic chorus that structurally works well All the while Dan Trapp's pounding guitar work battles with Garrett Zablocki's fierce guitar.

Whereas 'Safe House' and 'Landslide' sees the band sticking to their origins; steady paced alt-rock, that the band has somewhat perfected throughout the years. The latter has the usual, hooky chorus backed by the bands fierce and driving guitars.

By the time 'Headed West' and 'Nero' comes, the band are in their stride and some might say, their comfort zone as they fail to develop their sound from previous releases. For the most part musically Senses Fail sound nearly exactly the same as they did six years ago with 'Let It Enfold You'. Therefore tracks like 'Headed West' and 'Nero' fail to produce a decent reaction.

Whilst Senses Fail have proved to be consistent, 'The Fire' just about falls into being labelled as being "safe". Whilst the more fiery tracks like 'Lifeboats' and 'The Fire' gives depth to the bands sound and promise, but ultimately its a case of stick with what you know. However it is an improvement on 2008's 'Life Is Not a Waiting Room', as this time round the band are structurally stronger and are able to keep the listeners attention.


'The Fire' by Senses Fail is released in the US on October 26th through Vagrant Records and in the UK on October 25th via Hassle Records.

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Sean Reid

Alter The Press!