For Fans Of
From the release of their debut album ‘Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation‘ in 2003, Welsh group Funeral for a Friend have been something of a minor icon to fans of modern post-hardcore. Ten years and several full-lengths later, the band have dropped their sixth studio album ‘Conduit‘ – arguably the band’s most exciting record in recent memory.
‘Conduit‘ sees the band strive for a sense of intensity and immediacy. For starters, there’s the fact that, clocking in at just over half an hour, this is the shortest record of the band’s career – ending somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes earlier than the band’s back catalogue of full-lengths. Secondly, ‘Conduit‘ is the first record to feature new drummer Pat Lundy, formerly of metalcore outfit Rise to Remain. These two features, along with a conscious effort towards heavier, more fast-paced songwriting make for a record that feels ultimately much more high-octane than anything the band have done in the past.
Album opener ‘Spine‘ kicks off the record, immediately harnessing the energy that is found throughout, with some driving metal riffs for good measure – however, it would feel incredibly near-sighted to claim that it was wholly indicative of the rest of the album. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the record is found in how it manages to demonstrate versatility while maintaining a generally consistent flow. When the band goes for slightly catchier choruses and pop-punk stylistics such as the melodic ‘Best Friends and Hospital Beds‘ and ‘Death Comes to Us All‘, it works. When they go for the heaviness and ferocity of a modern hardcore band as seen on aggressively anthemic title track ‘Conduit‘ and vicious highlight ‘Grey‘, it’s a welcome and honestly, quite fun breath of fresh air.
That said, there are moments where the focus drops, interest wanes and things tend to feel a little samey. The worst culprit is track ‘Travelled‘, which darts between repetitious and simply drab.
With their sixth record, Funeral for a Friend have experimented in making what is ostensibly a post-hardcore record, but proudly dives into punk, hardcore and even metal territory. It’s a move that works in their favour, and stands as their most thrilling, dynamic effort in a decade.
3. The Distance
4. Best Friends and Hospital Beds
6. Death Comes to Us All
11. High Castles