Funeral For A Friend - Welcome Home Armageddon
Welsh gang now "sound unstoppable", says Phill May.
Funeral For A Friend’s fifth album, 'Welcome Home Armageddon', arrives on a wave of glowing reviews, with much talk of it being a ‘comeback’. Many mention the loss of two major members within two years, they suggest they’ve gone back to their roots, that this is a return to form, or simply state that ‘they’re back’. Valid talking points, but we refuse to pretend they ever went away, 2008’s 'Memory And Humanity' was an overlooked masterpiece. But does '...Armageddon' stand out? Does it deserve even more praise? You’re damn right it does.
The gentle intro is smashed aside by the frantic ‘Old Hymns’, but it’s following track ‘Front Row Seats To The End Of The World’ where things truly get going. And they really get going. If you’ve already seen the video or had the pleasure of experiencing it live, you’ll already know this is one of the best tracks the band have penned to date; Ryan Richards once more let loose behind the mic, screaming out vocals amidst a seething wall of noise before Matt Davies-Kreye comes in with a soaring chorus that makes it the epitome of '...Armageddon' – an amalgamation of everything they have done up to this point; the blistering ferocity of their early days and the soaring melodies of their more recent work, both crafted to perfection. ‘Sixteen’ is the perfect single, ‘Broken Foundation’ is devastating in its intensity and the warmer melodies of ‘Medicated’ make it immersive.
Calling it a return to form is absurd, the new members haven’t made Funeral For A Friend sound like a new band, but they do sound like a band reinvigorated. They sound hungry. They sound unstoppable. The quality of the musicianship is top-notch; the drumming of Ryan Richards is nothing short of outstanding throughout. Lyrically, Davies-Kreye’s gradual improvement since their debut has made a big leap for this release, now capable of connecting to listeners young and old, with topics ranging far further than the teen angst their detractors would label them with.
We have only one criticism, and it’s that we think they should have self-titled this album, because it has captured every aspect of Funeral For A Friend; the aggression of their past, the maturity of their present and the new line-up that is their future. You get the idea. We love it, and we think you’ll love it, too. You’ll find similar enthusiasm all over the web and printed press, but the best thing any of you can do is to just get hold of this album, because it’s not just one of the best albums of the year, it’s possibly the best of their career. Feel free to agree or disagree, just don’t you bloody dare call it a comeback.