For The Fallen Dreams – Heavy Hearts


Album

Heavy Hearts

Label

Rise Records

Year

2014

For Fans Of

The Plot In You - In Hearts Wake - Hand Of Mercy

Summary

Chad Ruhlig and co are back!

Rating

80 / 100

Heavy Hearts‘ – which boasts a suspiciously similar cover to Buried In Verona’s ‘Notorious‘ – is a great listen, plain and simple. It embodies everything that was great about the For the Fallen Dreams‘ first two albums, ‘Changes‘ and ‘Relentless‘ – some of the band’s best.

 

Those tight, familiar and satisfying breakdowns, chuggs, and strong lead guitar melodies from 2008 and 2009 are all back, and the band hasen’t lost any of their edge either. Of course, there’s been a fuck ton of groups springing up in the last five or six years for this genre, and as a result, the four piece now feel like a small fish in a giant ocean. Instead of stagnating or worse, breaking up, For the Fallen Dreams are pushing on with their new line-up. It’s a new, but familiar chapter in the band’s history.

 

Marking the proper return (if you don’t count last year’s brilliant single, ‘Substance‘) of original vocalist, Chad Ruhlig, the singer’s vocal style remains pretty much unchanged, except for the new added strength in his lows and growls. Otherwise, it’s business as usual, with his powerfully loud and vehemently heavy voice.

 

Right from the get go, ‘Emerald Blue‘ kicks around inside of your head as it pays vast homage to its equally heavy and much older brother, ‘Brothers In Arms‘, the opening song from their debut release. ‘Emerald Blue‘ is basically the basis for the next nine songs, with it’s heavy pit-call style vocals, tight, down tuned breakdowns and riffs, and the awesome lead guitar melodies – which really make these songs stand out! It’s all there.

 

Choke‘ is a pretty aggressive song, not just musically, but also lyrically. However, it’s a bit of a hit and miss as every second metalcore band writes songs like this. On the flip side, ‘Amnesia‘ and ‘Unfinished Business‘ don’t have your typical metalcore themes and lyrics. These two are lyrically, far more reflective of Ruhlig‘s previous time spent in the band, the years in between his departure and return, and his positive outcome as he returns to the group. 

 

Lights‘ busts out the first real dynamic tasting of the album with a nice instrumental bridge that’d you most likely hear on a Being As An Ocean album. Dream Eater‘, ‘Smelling Salt‘ and the hugely melodic lead single, ‘Bombay‘, are where guitaristJim Hocking, pleasantly surprises with his clean vocals. This is a new role for him and he nails it! They don’t come off as bland or gimmicky, there’s a decent control of vibrato, and they add another strong melodic layer to the bands sound. Plus, they don’t sound as "pop-punk" as former vocalist Dylan Richter‘s cleans on the bands last album, ‘Wasted Youth‘, which works better for this albums sound overall.

 

However, the songs blend together REALLY quickly. They’re all great tracks, but they feel far too similar after only two or three listens through. Additionally, the band’s former glories really do hold this back from being amazing. ‘Changes‘ and ‘Relentless‘ are still the best material For the Fallen Dreams havr ever written. The comparison between ‘Heavy Hearts‘ and two of its early predecessors is impossible to miss here. 

Conclusion

With Chad Ruhlig back on vocal duties, ‘Heavy Hearts’ is basically For The Fallen Dreams doing a complete full circle and coming right back to the sound and feel of their debut album. The full-length isn’t quite as good as ‘Changes’, or even its follow-up release, ‘Relentless’. With that being said though, it will still please most die-hard fans and appease those that felt the band lost their way on their last two releases. This album proves that the band are still relevant today and that they are just as tight, as strong and as good as they ever were.  


Tracklisting

1. Emerald Blue

2. Choke

3. Lights

4. Dream Eater

5. Bombay

6. Mimic

7. Endless

8. Amnesia

9. Unfinished Business

10. Smelling Salt


Leave a Reply

You must be registered and logged in to comment on this post.