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Fear Before The March Of Flames - The Always Open Mouth Review

by Mike Rapin

My, oh my. Fear Before The March Of Flames has hit us with a big one. Seriously. The band that I know and love has jumped into a brand new style of music. I don't know what it's called, but I will admit that I like it. The Always Open Mouth compiles a whole new sound from Fear Before The March Of Flames, one that is a definite tone-down from their previous two albums.

Opening with a short minute or so song "Absolute Future" places a creepy sound within your ears that feels like someone is on their way to kill you. But things break out into "Drowning The Old Hag" and, I will say that every time I hear the beginning to this song, I feel like I should be mutilating someone or something. This song progresses into a slower mixed verse and chorus couple ending on a cool little lead up to an intro tie-back with definite feel of a breakdown.

"Mouth" begins and brings me back to the 1980s with it's intro, but the vocals of singers David Marion and Adam Fisher (he plays guitar too) totally kick that 80s feel away and things jump into a sing-along chorus with a scary off tone. Things proceed on to a near-rap that breaks into the sing along chorus again which ends on some cool guitar riffage.

Then things go all catchy on you. "Taking Cassandra To The End Of The World Party" to FBTMOF is like :Unretrofied" to Dillinger Escape Plan, meaning although the song is damn catchy (AKA: a radio hit) it still kicks ass.

Another slow ditty on this album, "Ten Seconds In Los Angeles," follows with a mix of some real rap sounding vocals and an accompanying flow of trippy guitar parts that all lead to a very steady end full of lead and rhythm guitar parts on top of some sweet double-bass pedals and screaming vocals.

"The Waiting Makes Me Curious" is really nothing outside of an acid trip. This flails around and around leaving me to wonder how the hell you record something like this let alone play it live. In the last 2 minutes or so, things get a bit heavier with a "drone-y" tone, of which totally kicks ass.

And another near-rap song breaks in calling itself "High As A Horse." This song really sounds like it is going to be a rap song, but instead, things turn into a real kickass mix of music. But, sadly, things go back to the "rappy" sound with some near-rapping vocals. Again, the kick-ass-ness comes back, leaves and things end on the "rappy" feel.

Then, there is "Dog Sized Bird." This song feels like a real mix of some industrial stuff. I can't say I listen to much industrial, but damn this s*** is pretty much a mix of some industrial and cool ass guitar parts. I have to say FBTMOF knows how to write their stuff.

"Complete and Utter Confusion" is something out of the books known as "f***ed-up." I heard this song and though my [insert device to play music" had been misplaying at times. This song jumps genres, yet keeps it all within the same feel and beat. The punch you get at the end is definitely worth it.

Continuing on, "...As A Result Of Signals Being Crossed" feels like an interlude of a song, but ends on some kick ass dual-vocals at the end that always gets me singing along. I'll just say that screams + singing = amazing.

"My (f***ing) Deer Hunter" follows and definitely sounds like it was a Thursday song. It's damn uncanny. Things are a bit more intense on this song from the previous and if you liked the earlier tracks, you'll surely like this one also.

I remember back when I first heard about this album and I was sent an e-mail about it from someone. They told me to check out the prevolume site for FBTMOF and "Lycanthropy" was the new song off the album. This is such a good song simply because it is what I love about this band: sheer insanity and pure, baby-punching music.

"A Brief Tutorial In Bachanalia" begins with one hell of an intro. This song is definitely the intense Fear Before The March Of Flames that I love. Sadly, things go into an interlude of things, slowing with some simple vocals on top of the the effected guitars and such. The ending of the song leads back into the heavier tone heard earlier finally ending on some cool little guitar strums.

Then, in a sudden move (like a cobra!), "A Gift For Fiction" busts open your gut. Things stay mostly heavy throughout this song leaving you with a sense of release. Drone-y guitars and creepy backing vocals make me smile.

To end the album, FBTMOF creates a quazi-Pink Floyd song that you can clap your hands to an band your head to at the same time. Things get a bit epic in the end... and quite scary.

Overall, this album is damn awesome. I mean it. I loved it a lot, but if you're a die-hard Fear Before The March Of Flames fan, you may not be a satisfied as I was simply because this is a serious tone down from Art Damage and Odd How People Shake. But if you're into some near-drone music that has a few "rap-ish" songs involved all overseen by what feels like a doom-master, I would tell you to check things out.

Track Listing:
1. Absolute Future
2. Drowning The Old Hag
3. Mouth
4. Taking Cassandra To The End Of The World Party
5. Ten Seconds In Los Angeles
6. The Waiting Makes Me Curious
7. High As A Horse
8. Dog Sized Bird
9. Complete And Utter Confusion...
10. ...As A Result Of Signals Being Crossed
11. My (f***ing) Deer Hunter
12. Lycanthropy
13. A Brief Tutorial In Bachanalia
14. A Gift For Fiction
15. Absolute Past

CD Info and Links

Fear Before The March Of Flames - The Always Open Mouth

Label:Equal Vision

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