Welsh post-hardcore veterans Funeral for a Friend are back with their seventh studio album, Chapter and Verse. Renowned for their raw, emotional brand of alternative rock, the band’s latest offering proves that they haven’t lost their edge. Featuring eleven vigorous tracks swelling with passion and ferocity, this record is guaranteed to get heads banging.
An energetic riff steers “Stand By Me for the Millionth Time” into howling vocals, then erupts to Earth shattering levels. The sound is coarse and liberating, acting as an aggressive introduction. “You’ve Got a Bad Case of the Religions” explodes out of its outro with anarchic instrumentation and vocals. The relentlessly heavy and exhilarating verse bounds into a bracing and melodic chorus.
“Pencil Pusher” refuses to ease up, beginning with a sprightly drum beat that joins forces with reverberating guitars that persist throughout. A chaotic melody tops things off, ensuring an absorbingly hectic atmosphere. Its aftermath sees the emergence of a heavy bass line that heralds the coming of “You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself”. Smashing cymbals form a bridge into penetrating guitars that are irresistibly immersive. They proceed to grind along at a steady pace before bursting to epic proportions towards the end.
“1%” begins with a mellow riff that continues through the verse. The vocals are more reserved but no less forceful. The overall vibe is somewhat solemn until the instrumentation breaks into a thunderous finale. This gives way to the mayhem of “After All These Years…Like a Lightbulb Going Off in My Head”; a frantic number that will shake you to your core through its earsplitting execution. “Modern Excuse of a Man” is just as rabid, made up of hysterical vocals and furious instrumentation. The intensity then stretches into “Inequality”, which rushes off with turbulent riffs and rollicking vocals.
“Brother” follows as a complete departure. Given life by just an acoustic guitar and crisp, clear vocals, its delivery is simple and sincere. “Donny” isn’t content to uphold its predecessor’s modesty though, instead opting for rapturous guitars and percussion amid a contentious melody. Its successor, “The Jade Tree Years Were My Best”, decides to go for the best of both worlds, incorporating slow and composed verses whose content feels quite burdensome. These hand the reigns over to choruses that are characteristically boisterous. It serves as an arduous finale.
Even after all these years, Funeral for a Friend still know how to instill their music with the same invigorating spirit that made it stand out in the first place. Chapter and Verse is ample evidence of that. This album is a zealous compilation of loud and emphatic anthems that are ideal for letting go and losing yourself to. For fans of both the band and the post-hardcore genre in general, this is essential listening.