blessthefall – Witness

By Steve on December-21-2009 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , | Share

blessthefall – Witness
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
3.6 (15 votes)

Band: blessthefall

Title: Witness

Label: Fearless Records

Release Date: 2009

Review By: Steve

Tracklisting:

  1. 2.0
  2. What’s Left Of Me
  3. To Hell & Back
  4. God Wears Gucci
  5. Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted
  6. Witness
  7. Last Ones Left
  8. Five Ninety
  9. We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead
  10. Skinwalkers
  11. You Deserve Nothing & I Hope You Get Less
  12. Stay Still

Ok, so I am not a big post-hardcore/screamo fan but I can appreciate some of it.  I felt like this album deserved mention on IVM.  I don’t like it because it feels like a bunch of pretty boys are trying to infiltrate my music!  At first it is post-hardcore and next you have pretty boys in polos and khakis trying to be like Advent or even worse, Living Sacrifice!  But something tells me that blessthefall is never going to try to make that jump, at least I hope not.

blessthefall is five-piece post-hardcore band out of Phoenix, Arizona that packs a pretty good punch.  They created some buzz earlier this year when they released the single “God Wears Gucci.”  Many thought it was a shot at The Devil Wears Prada; however, I read an interview with blessthefall recently, and they said it was not a shot at TDWP but a shot at Christians that try to make their faith a fashion statement.

In late 2008, blessthefall made the hardest change that any band can make, replacing the lead vocalist.  Some bands have been successful (August Burns Red and Living Sacrifice,) but many fail.  You can add blessthefall into the group with ABR and LS as far as I am concerned.  The addition of Beau Bokan (from Take the Crown) was a huge upgrade for blessthefall.  I loved their first album His Last Walk with lead vocalist Craig Mabbitt (now with Escape the Fate), but Bokan has a much cleaner, mature voice.

I love every track on this album.  Even the intro “2.0” is amazing.  Jared Warth screams, “we’re not dead / we’re not like you said / we’re not dead / we’re not where you said” repeatedly in the intro with a great hardcore bass and drum line pounding behind him.  This may be the best intro I have ever heard.  It is like blessthefall is telling the world that you may have thought we were fading away but we’re not and here is a fist to your face for thinking we had faded.  As well as improved clean vocals by Bokan, the rest of blessthefall upped their game by turning in some greatly improved instrument play.  I thought His Last Walk was filled with a lot more screaming than clean vocals, which drew me to blessthefall initially.  I was surprised in Witness because the breakdowns are much harder and the clean vocals are very catchy.  However, Warth who is the screamer on both albums really improved his screams, and while he may not scream as much on Witness, when he does it feels like he is doing it right in front of your face!  In a popular genre like post-hardcore, I feel blessthefall has set themselves apart from the pack with this album.  This album is a lot different musically and lyrically, which is nearly impossible in a genre filled with wannabes.  With the heavy breakdowns and catchy vocals you will find yourself singing a long to this album.

Lyrically, blessthefall is more of a crossover band because while their lyrics are positive and uplifting, the listener has to dig pretty deep to find the Christian metaphors used in this album.  While members of blessthefall are professed Christian, one track in particular makes me wonder why they would put that part in the song.  The song is “God Wears Gucci” and that part is the end where there is a break in the music and a voicemail comes on with a girl just letting Beau have it and dropping the F-bomb but the F-bomb is bleeped out.  I just don’t know why that is in there and what purpose it serves. The standout track for me is “Five Ninety” because it starts out with some great screams and is hard all the way through even with Beau’s clean vocals.

Overall: This is one of the best post-hardcore/screamo albums I have listened to in recent memory.  Every song is great, including the intro.  If you love clean vocals with some great screams mixed in, then this is definitely a must buy.  Witness will have a permanent place on my iPod for the foreseeable future.

blessthefall - Witness, 3.6 out of 5 based on 15 ratings

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About the author Steve

Originally, from Albuquerque, NM but now I live in the Minneapolis area. I love Metal and Hardcore but I can tolerate pretty much anything. Albums I couldn't live without: Any Living Sacrifice album with Bruce on vocals, INXS - Kick, and AC/DC - Back in Black View all posts by Steve

68 Responses to 'blessthefall – Witness'

  1. CypherrX says:

    I keep finding different things for the lyrics of “To Hell & Back.” Some lyrics I have read say “I’m what happens” and others say “I’m right here b****.” Do you happen to know the actual lyrics of the song and whether or not they use profanity in it?

  2. Stephen M says:

    I agree with you on this album completely. Superb album, enjoy it quite a bit. For some reason I thought that IVM wasn’t covering BTF anymore though. Maybe I was wrong. Nice write man!

  3. Brandon says:

    I’ll be reading the comments carefully, that’s all I’m going to say.

  4. Eric says:

    Interesting review, but I don’t believe the band is Christian anymore. I couldn’t listen to it (although it does sound very good) after hearing the the bleeped out F’ and more importantly, reading the lyrics and finding more expletives (To Hell and Back)

  5. Shawn H says:

    Interesting read in the lastest HM magazine about this band…

    “Some people think like we’re such a Christian band – which we
    are, I mean we’re all Christians, we’re all good kids,” Lambert
    says. “It’s kind of hard to say we weren’t Christians because of
    Craig, because even if it’s not the best a lot, I think – I’m gonna
    be real, the first song on (His Last Walk is) about him having a
    child – that’s premarital sex and that’s not exactly a Christian
    thing, but the last song on the record is about Jesus Christ
    dying to relinquish our sins. I’m not gonna say it’s hypocritical or
    anything, but a lot of kids ask us (if) we are still Christians and
    it’s kind of like, ‘Well, of course, we’re still Christians. It’s not
    like Craig was the only reason we were doing this as a band.’”

  6. Good quote there Shawn and I think it clears some things up. Clearly this is more of a case of it being Christians in a band than anything. Hopefully the singer does find God at some point or gets things straightened out if he’s having a rough time.

  7. Shawn H says:

    …On Witness, the band let their faith speak for itself. “It’s definitely
    still inspiring lyrics,” Lambert says. “Something kids can look to
    and relate to, whether you want to see it as faith or just your
    own beliefs. We have like faith- and grace-related lyrics but I don’t
    think it’ll go as far as like preaching or anything like that really.
    There’s definitely still Christian influence on the record though.”

  8. Brandon says:

    Is “God Wears Gucci” a reference to the band The Devil Wears Prada? Just curious.

    • Shawn H says:

      Does this clear it up for you Brandon ;) :

      The first single, “God Wears Gucci,” has raised some eyebrows
      due to its resemblance to a certain Dayton band’s name
      and a line from one of their songs, but Lambert insists
      there’s no blessthefall / The Devil Wears Prada brawl in the
      making and they were just having a little fun with the title.

      “That song’s talking about how religion’s become like a fashion
      almost,” he explains. “Being a Christian myself, I hate seeing
      kids wear like rosaries or anything for fashion. They don’t really
      believe in what it stands for so it’s really making a mockery of
      what I believe in. It’s kind of about how people are fake when it
      comes to religion. They’ll say things just to act cool or something
      but they won’t really follow through on it. It’s kind of about how
      it’s become more of a materialistic thing than an actual belief.”

    • brian says:

      didn’t you read the review, brandon? haha

    • Corey E says:

      Glad you thought the article in HM I wrote was interesting, Shawn. I tried to get Eric to clear up some controversies and misunderstandings about blessthefall but I’m not sure it worked.

      At least people know there’s no beef with TDWP ha.

  9. John xPSx says:

    Huh. Well, generally when a band says their Christians I believe them, and they don’t seem to be lying or anything (why would they?), but…I’m still confused based on some other stuff I’ve heard about them.

  10. Phil Recognition says:

    There’s only one thing I got out of that review..

    Advent!

  11. Brandon says:

    Oh no Phil, here we go again. Bringing Advent into another discussion. lol. Let the games begin. haha.

  12. raprawkrevo (Josh) says:

    The guys don’t act like Christians. They consistently cuss on Twitter, and with that voicemail in “God Wears Gucci”, I’m a bit concerned.

  13. Brandon says:

    and here we go……

  14. Cody says:

    Whatever our personal feelings/opinions are about these bands are, they mean nothing. There is only one person that can truly decide whether blessthefall or whatever other band is truly living a Christian life is God.

    • Shawn G says:

      While this is true the Bible also says we are to hold our brothers and sisters accountable and to help them get back on track if they should be derailed.

    • Corey E says:

      I mean no disrespect with this, but when the Bible says brothers and sisters, doesn’t it mean people in our own church, like believers close to us? If I knew these guys personally and had a relationship with them I would certainly try to guide them toward pursuing holiness. But is it my place to tell them all the things they’re doing wrong? I personally don’t think so.

      I’ve struggled with that when I’ve interviewed bands (including blessthefall for HM Magazine) who maybe have something controversial about them. Should I try to encourage them or not? My conclusion so far has been that if I feel comfortable, I’ll ask them if I can pray for them in any way, because I think it’s okay for us to pray for public figures. But I didn’t feel like it was my place to tell Eric from blessthefall, someone I’ve never met, to stop swearing. If you would, more power to you, and maybe that’s what they need, is for someone to call them out. I just hope they have a close friend that would do it and not a stranger like me.

  15. Cody says:

    Thank you Steve!

  16. Tim says:

    I like the front cover. I’ve heard of the band but never listened to them. So I won’t comment. But yes, nice butterfly.

  17. Otto says:

    I’m disagree with the next sentence in “To Hell and Back”:
    “I’m Right Here Bith”, but with an “H” in the last word, for me, these guys aren’t christian anymore

  18. Otto says:

    Christian with a little of profanity in their lyrics? I don’t think so!!

  19. Phil Recognition says:

    did anyone know that there was a video shot during the summer for the song Predictable by Venia (u.s)? apparently the guys never released it, but it’s on youtube

  20. Steve says:

    glad to see this many people express their opinions about this album and the artist

  21. Stefcore says:

    Im so over these pseudo Christian crappy popcore bands… Interesting fact to note.. The german death metal band, Sacrificium, well known in christian metal, actually use the “sh!t” word in one of their most powerful songs called ‘I am the enemy’.

  22. Kristof says:

    As far as the curse issue… I mean I guess it can be uplifting in some circles of people, but otherwise generally not. I mean the Bible says to only says what’s uplifting, and if its uplifting then I suppose words are words. As far as the quote from the CD, it doesn’t really sound too uplifting to me.

    I was big into these guys 3 or so years ago, but I can’t really see myself enjoying them anymore. Nice review though

  23. brian says:

    Mabbit screams on the first record…check that stuff.

  24. Admiral Tobias says:

    Words, words, words.

  25. Landon says:

    I’ve seen this happen consistently….Unfortunatly, a lot of bands that claim to be Christians are not living it. This disappoints me. Bands that i severely looked up to just dont walk the walk and i can’t stand that.
    One thing it has done, though, is strengthen how i want to live my life. I want to be the one example kids can cling to and know that i’m going to live my life the way Christ would have.
    But about blessthefall…eh, i never liked em. I never got a good vibe from them.
    I’m not judging others as to whether they live the Christian life or not, I just don’t want others to look down on me when i say i’m a Christian because of bad examples in the public eye.

  26. Matt says:

    It’s really stupid how people are putting Christian bands down just because they curse in songs or when they’re live. They’re humans…humans are flawed. I bet if you went to a private, Christian school at lunchtime, you’d hear as much cursing as these bands; it doesn’t make the people any worse or better. These bands are usually made of those kids out of high-school. I saw In Fear And Faith live, and they cursed just like every other band at the show. Sure, it was disappointing, but I’m not gonna deem them non-Christian. Just because you curse, it doesn’t mean you’re not a Christian; if that was so, Aaron Gillespie from Underoath, and countless others in the Christian scene wouldn’t be Christians.

    • Shawn G says:

      This isn’t about them cussing live. We are talking about a recorded album by BTF. If they really were a Christian band those lyrics would have never made it on the album or in the lyrics. I’m getting pretty tired of getting let down by band that I get excited about because they are Christian bands and then they go and pull stuff like this and they think it’s ok to cuss. Sounds to me like BTF is living out their song “God Wears Gucci” Wearing the name Christian on their sleeve but acting completley different and allowing cussing on their album.

      I can understand if someone slips up live but again this is not a live record. I can forgive slip ups but purposely putting curse words on a record is not a slip up.

      I do listen to non-Christian bands but I usally try to get the edited versions of the CD’s if they are available.

      I might still pick up BTF new album but only because I like their music style but I will not consider them a Christian band if they continue using curse words on purpose.

      This can go back to bands like the Agony Scene. They used to be a “Christian” band but they are def. not now. Same goes for Chevelle……which it turns out that Chevelle were a little evil to begin with and admitted they were never a Christian band and they deceived a lot of people. Needless to say I have stopped supporting Chevelle for their deceitfull practices.

  27. Brandon says:

    It’s interesting how a review of Blessthefall turned into a debate on cussing. Hmmmm….

  28. Personally i think they are musically great.
    But the cursing turns me off.
    it does not matter if they proclaim to be a “christian” band or not because in the end, yeah they are human for screwing up. but until they publicly announce their regret and remorse for it i doubt ill support them in the future.
    its sad when you find out bands turn out this way, it reminds me of he is legend, i am ghost, and a few others.

    • Matt W. says:

      Why would someone show regret and remorse for something they don’t think is wrong? Jared, the bassist (the one who writes the screaming lyrics) said he was getting bashed a lot for putting that in there, but he said he doesn’t regret it. Why doesn’t ABR get bashed like this?

    • bobbythebuff says:

      In reply to Matt W. Why would there be any reason to bash ABR?

  29. STOKED4GOD says:

    I LOVE THIS BAND

  30. aaronator says:

    This CD was surprisingly solid

  31. HAYNGMAN3000### says:

    just look how bad He Is Legend got. (not musically) they had everyone calling them “christian”

  32. HAYNGMAN3000### says:

    their ep before i am hollywood, and i am hollywood. had no cussing at all. thats when they were on solidstate. calling themselves christian. i cant recall if suck out the poison had an bad lyrical content on it but i do know that It Hates You has 3 or 4 songs that have cussing. now theyre on a different label.

  33. canadablair says:

    Back to blessthefall…….I love this cd. It keeps getting put back in the player in my truck! So good!

  34. canadablair says:

    Sometimes I curse……not meaning to but it happens in the heat of the moment sometimes. So i guess I cant really throw a stone! Oh no, maybe I will be kicked off of this site now! Hope not but if some one were that shallow of a person to give up on me cause I have cursed, well probably better that way anyways. But again, the new blessthefall was one of the best from last year!

    • its quite different between music and people. with friends that curse i would never just push them out of my life, that would be really stupid of me. But for a band that curses i do not wish to listen because i look for music with both good lyrical content, but also catchy songs. if a band starts cursing then i will stop listening to them for the fact that i don’t what such hatful words stuck in my head. though curse words may just still be words, its what they really mean is what matters.

    • Corey E says:

      You may be right, music has a greater reach, but swearing at a person may be more personally damaging than hearing it on a track – the worst is you’ll be offended, but not damaged like somebody cursing you out.

      I’m not defending bands swearing at shows or on albums but you have to remember, swearing is an ingrained part of youth culture. The kids who go to their shows, the kids they hang out with on a daily basis mostly swear and it’s nothing to them. Not saying it’s right, it’s just what they’re around. They could choose to be an example and not swear (I know it made a lot of people wonder what had changed in me when I stopped swearing when I came to Christ) but heaping judgment on them isn’t going to help. We should encourage them to pursue Christ and imitate Christ where possible, but the point is, we’re not in their lives. Hopefully somebody around them is encouraging them to grow in their faith, but very often (from experience) unless you are incredibly judicious with who’s around you, you’re going to be influenced by the youth culture.

    • i understand what your saying, cursing was something that was really drilled into the core of my mind as a kid. which is why i do not wish to listen to bands with bad content. i hear enough cursing in my everyday life from friends, tv, college, and what not. i do not wish to have it in the music i listen to, because cursing is a great temptation for me. and yes it may be nothing to alot of the youth today, and many people say that they are just words, but words have meanings that can be either loaded or empty, either way i see its not a good thing. as for supporting them i will always be praying for them, hope they turn to God for each turn they make in life. but as for listening, and spreading their music around i will not if they continue to make music with this content.
      i dont mean to sound rude by saying such, its just something that hits hard with me.

    • Corey E says:

      No, I appreciate your civility and I understand your point, and I don’t disagree. Paul talks about not being a stumbling block (i.e., causing someone else to sin) and if their swearing might cause you to swear, something that you believe to be wrong for your life, then there’s no shame in not wanting to listen because it’s not best for you.

      The devil’s advocate in me would also say that how could they possibly know that their swearing would encourage you to sin, but I guess it’s kind of common sense that people might want to imitate their behavior.

  35. HAYNGMAN3000### says:

    the primarily blues, dont touch that dial, and decisions, decisions, decisions, all have cursing. but yes, sorry for he is legend stories. its a blessthefall blog,my bad!!!

    • Matt W. says:

      canadablair, thanks for responding. I totally agree.

      And in reply to the He Is Legend, only Don’t Touch That Dial had cursing. The rest of the songs had “controversial” curses. Words like “damn” and “hell” can be controversial as to whether they are actual curse words or not. I think it’s pretty stupid, but bands like Anberlin and such have used them in songs.

  36. HAYNGMAN3000### says:

    true. i guess to some people they are and to others they arent’.

  37. spencer says:

    this album was absolutely amazing; good review besides when the reviewer questioned the cursing. Is this a review or a judgment on their personal morals? It was overall a good review though, i just don’t like people questioning others off of their own ethics.

  38. spencer says:

    oh, i know this is a Christian site but i’m not, i just found this on google when i was searching for a review on this album.

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