It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since Funeral For A Friend burst onto the UK scene with debut album ‘Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation’, I was a 13 year old school kid back then whose ears were suddenly filled with this new era of post-hardcore bands; Senses Fail, Thursday, Aiden, Lostprophets *shudders* and then all of a sudden, this melodic 5-piece from Bridgend.
Over a decade later, and FFAF are back with their 7th studio album and it’s business as usual. Opener ‘Stand By Me For The Millionth Time‘ kick starts 35 minutes of up-tempo, in-your-face medolic hardcore lead by Matthew Davies-Kreye’s dynamic vocals, which have aged into a husky clamour with him and now suit the band’s punkier angle. The exception to this audial assault is ‘Brother’, an acoustic stripped back attempt that sees the band at it’s rawest and most passionate.
Personal favourites amongst the tracklist are ‘1%‘ and ‘Pencil Pusher‘, two of the most intense tracks on the album. The production is superb, proof that the band’s decision to bypass long-standing engineer Romesh Dodangoda and instead work with Lewis Johns (most recently famed for being behind the desk of Gnarwolves’ debut album) has been well repaid.
This album may not stand up to the likes of the band’s debut, or sophomore album ‘Hours‘ in the eyes of purists, but Chapter and Verse is a wonderful addition to the discography of one of the UK’s most revered alternative acts. This release must go down as a triumph for the Welshmen, and proves that there’s plenty left in their tank yet.