Album Review :
blessthefall - Witness

By in Reviews | Comments closed

Band: blessthefall

Title: Witness

Label: Fearless Records

Release Date: 2009

Review By: Steve


  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.