Blessthefall’s latest and fifth album, To Those Left Behind, is, regrettably, more forgetful than their last endeavor, Hollow Bodies. This is one of the softest metalcore albums ever, which isn’t necessarily bad. Some people are into that. The rhythms are catchy and the unclean vocals are on point when they show up. The record’s largest flaw however is that the songs, for the most part, stand well enough alone to earn themselves a play or two, but one after the other is more of a burden than a pleasure. In short, the songs are extremely repetitive. It’s not only that each song is formulaic, but that they all blend together.
You’ve heard all Blessthefall has given in To Those Left Behind after the first half of the album. (Thankfully, there is always their past to remind you that this is not all the band has to offer.) Songs like “Decayer” and “Dead Air” offer little glimpses into Blessthefall’s harder side. “Decayer” starts off quietly and then springs into aggressive metalcore instrumentals with some hard unclean vocals giving a false sense that the record is going to be equally brutal.
Then you get to “Keep What We Love & Burn the Rest,” which could easily be found on a local alt rock radio station. The majority of the tracks lean more toward this sound. Blessthefall’s direction is clear, and the harder verses on the album are an attempt to hold on to their oldest fans, but it might be too little too late. Unfortunately, there is no sign of the breathless, impassioned screaming that was the norm in Blessthefall’s first couple of albums. That being said, if any one of these songs were to pop up on a shuffled playlist, it wouldn’t be so bad to have in the background.
by David Marulanda