Funeral For A Friend - Into Oblivion

Bruce Turnbull 07/05/2007

Rating: 3/5

It might just be a case of mistaken identity, but who the hell are these guys now? I can distinctly remember looking forward to their 2003 debut, “Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation” after the hefty praise-wagon rolled into town, proclaiming them to be the next big thing. After the maelstrom of support and a gigantic set of live dates, FFAF took a break to record their slick follow up “Hours”, which was sadly dismissed by all but the hardcore coterie. Again, looking forward to what the band have to offer in 2008, I wondered if I had been sent the wrong CD. Interestingly, the Welsh emo-metallers have taken a step in a rather obscure direction, eschewing the Maiden-esque harmony guitars and screechy emo vocals of their previous efforts completely, replacing them with an intriguingly sophisticated sound reminiscent of Yellowcard and Brand New more than anything else. Strange, eh?

Sharper than a pair of the missus' stilettos, the first single to be taken from the band's third album, “Tales Don't Tell Themselves”, “Into Oblivion” manages to be both banal and interesting simultaneously. Oddly enough the formula of the track is incredibly simple; the typical verse-chorus approach leaving little to the imagination considering they have been sitting on this material for a couple of years. Added to the simplicity of the style, grand, sweeping choruses and film-score ethics have been applied to create a sense of intelligence and integrity. This doesn't quite work, making the band themselves sound false and unworthy of note. Vocalist Matt Davies has been practicing, although sticking to his lower range; his voice soars over the melodious tumult like an eagle with a jetpack. According to Davies, the remainder of the album was composed in a similar form to a movie soundtrack, and as such, I expect a lot more from the full length. But like most drastic movements, this will only shock and confuse, not inspire and enthuse.