Blessthefall is not a household band name, but after an album like Witness, it certainly should be. Blessthefall’s Witness represents change in a lot of ways for this already exceptional screamo band. Beau Bokan, the new clean vocalist, brings so much more melody and overall balance to the group that even people who have an aversion to harder music may find something appealing to take away from the listening experience that is Witness.
A little history lesson and background info is essential to understand why Blessthefall’s newest album is so great. As is the case with almost every screamo/hardcore band, two vocalists cover the singing: clean vocals, which refers to what most people recognize as regular singing, and unclean or screamed vocals, which refers to the guttural growls and screams that turn so many people away from the genre. Blessthefall’s previous clean vocalist, Craig Mabbitt, took a break from the band’s tour in the U.K. This forced unclean vocalist Jared Warth to cover both sets.
Mabbitt, who was one of the original band members, was not allowed to rejoin the band, despite being apart of Blessthefall’s successful first album, His Last Walk. This is one case where one man’s downfall leads to something great for the rest of society, because Bokan’s vocals are superior to Mabbitt’s in every single way. The end result from all this drama is a new and improved Blessthefall, which is perfectly epitomized by their new album, Witness.
Blessthefall immediately addresses any concerns fans had about where the band would go after losing Mabbitt with the short yet heavy introduction song, “2.0,” declaring, “We’re not dead! We’re not like you said! We’re not dead!” The album does not let up for the rest of the way.
“What’s Left Of Me” gives listeners the first chance to hear Bokan’s vocals, which are contrasted perfectly with Warth’s intensity, Matt Traynor’s thrashing drumming, and awe-inspiring guitar work from duo of Mike Frisby and Eric Lambert.
“To Hell & Back” is where everything comes together perfectly. It blends dramatic and melodic singing, heavy breakdowns, thundering drums, and shredding guitars to create one dynamic song. This is an incredibly compelling piece of music that anyone looking for a pumpup song will enjoy. Hearing this song come up on your I-Pod is an instant energizer; I can only imagine what it would be like to hear “To Hell & Back” live.
“Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted” is a prime example of how harder bands are able to win over audiences, even when that includes people who can’t stand the screaming. The fifth track doesn’t include any screaming and establishes itself as solid rock song, regardless of what genre. I recommend this track to anyone interested in the band but not sure if the screaming will be too much to handle.
The rest of the album is just as impressive as these four songs, but these are the standout tracks. I love albums that are sound from beginning to end, and Blessthefall made something special that fits that very category. All twelve tracks are screamo masterpieces that offer something to fans of bands like Underoath, We Came As Romans, Attack Attack! and The Devil Wears Prada. The best song on Witness is “To Hell & Back,” but if you prefer lighter rock music, you might want to approach with caution and start with “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted.” Either way, I highly recommend this band as a group to keep on your radar for the future.
Final Score: 9/10
Rank: 1st (three total albums)
- What’s Left Of Me
- To Hell & Back
- God Wears Gucci
- Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted
- Last One Left
- Five Ninety
- We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead
- You Deserve Nothing & I Hope You Get Less
- Stay Still