2014 was an eventful year for Funeral For A Friend, it has to be said. As well as playing a good amount of shows, they also celebrated the ten-year anniversary of their album Hours by playing it in full at a few select shows, and also recorded their seventh full-length album, Chapter And Verse. After their previous release Conduit showed a return to form for the band, I went in with high anticipations for this new album, however it feels like we’ve gone back to square one.
Quite simply, it’s just a generic post-hardcore album that features none of the magic that Funeral For A Friend are capable of creating. The vocals are lacklustre and sound strained at times – it’s somewhat apparent that they need a new dedicated screamer to complement Matt’s clean vocals because it doesn’t seem like he can quite cope with doing both styles and it’s taking its toll on his voice.
The thing with Funeral For A Friend is that they are exceptionally good at writing big and catchy songs with thought-provoking lyrics, but Chapter And Verse features none of this. The lyrics of 1% proclaims that “nothing is original any more and it’s all been done to death”, but they should perhaps listen to their own words because Chapter And Verse is perhaps their most unoriginal release to date. Nothing grips you as being exciting or different, and none of the songs really stand out because there’s just nothing memorable or striking about them. It just makes for a disappointing listen to say the least and it’s disheartening, especially when you take into account the sheer potential that Conduit had in particular.
In all honesty, it feels like they’ve taken a step backwards with this album. The good thing about Funeral For A Friend is that they’re not afraid to shy away from taking risks with new styles and ideas, and for that they deserve commending, but this time around it just hasn’t paid off. A crying shame, really.