Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Artist of the Day: For The Fallen Dreams

Though modern metalcore has become more of a passing fad lately filled with synth lines and copy-pasted breakdowns, some bands fall into their own niche. For The Fallen Dreams is one of them, and with the return of Chad Ruhlig on vocals the band is back to prove that some things never change - in a good way.

For The Fallen Dreams play of metalcore that blends dissonant riffs with hardcore roots to create a trademark sound. Changes, the band's breakthrough album, garnered widespread underground acclaim in both the metal and hardcore scenes. It set the precedent for their work, which perfectly mixed rough screams with memorable breakdowns, hooks and drums fills. Despite the album's attention, vocalist Chad Ruhlig left the band during the recording phase of their second record, Relentless. Featuring a more abrasive metalcore sound, the album still had that signature dissonant distortion, but new vocalist Dylan Richter added clean vocals to mix up variety. Jeremy McKinnon from famed metalcore/pop-punk hybrid band A Day To Remember even lended his clean vocals on "Nightmares." Talk about a switch up.

Post-Relentless, the band followed up with Backburner. The album ditched the signature dissonant riffage for a straight-up chugging approach, reflecting the lineups changes as well as a change towards a more mainstream crowd. "The Big Empty" knabbed over a million views on Youtube as the album's lead single. The past year, the band churned out another record called "Wasted Youth" that fell in the same vein as Backburner but with a more experimental blend of sounds. In the end, the album was met with mixed reviews even though it contained some of the band's best material to date including "Resolvent Feelings" and "Pretending." Dylan left the band shortly thereafter, and Chad was reenlisted as vocalist earlier this year.

Fans of hardcore will find much to like in Changes and in some parts of Relentless. The drumming on both albums is fantastic and contains some of the best drum fills and spot-on technicality in the genre. Utilizing staples such as gang vocals and breakdowns, the band manage to separate themselves from the crowd on the first two records with impressive songwriting. One listen to Changes and the dissonance will hook you like no other, like in "Brothers In Arms" and "Never Again." Relentless is more of a direct assault like "Two Twenty Two" exemplifies, but still features that same uniqueness as the debut in songs like "Smoke Signals." Metal fans will appreciate Backburner for what it is: a solid metalcore album, nothing more, nothing less. "My Anthem Like Symphony" and "Fist Fight" should get the pit moving and if you're yearning for more, move on to Wasted Youth and see what you like. Definitely check out the opener and closer, though the album feels a bit disjointed and pieced together.

With Chad Ruhlig and original drummer Andrew Tkaczyk back on the songwriting front, you can bet that For The Fallen Dreams are back with a vengeance. Expect a more hardcore-styled record with notes of Legend, Ruhlig's other band, but don't rule out the melodic metal elements, either. The first new track with Ruhlig on vocals is "Substance," which blends the Relentless sound with the breakdowns from Changes, but with some of the vocal melody from the later records.

For The Fallen Dreams are definitely one of the most overlooked bands in the scene. Though Changes was a big underground hit, it seems the band never took off like they should have. Hopefully, with the original songwriters back at the podium, the band will rise to the forefront of the modern metalcore arena and breath new life into it. In the mean time, work your way through the band's discography on Spotify. If you're a fan of heavy music, chances are you'll find that For The Fallen Dreams are modern metalcore contenders.


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