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Facing Fears - Horizons

Facing Fears
Horizons
by Santiago Puyol at 28 May 2019, 2:39 AM

Never drowned in nostalgia, but undoubtedly looking to the past, FACING FEARS builds a solid full-length format debut with "Horizons". The band describes itself as "Modern Hard Rock" and the label suits them well, especially for the amount of Modern Metal influences they incorporate into their music, with a marked 80's and 90's sound. It might not be the most innovative, but it is a fun and entertaining album from beginning to end. A phaser loaded intro kicks off the album, flowing perfectly into its first true song: "Chapter II". Considering the band's debut EP was titled "Chapter I" it's probably a wink, or even some kind of implied narrative. Either way, it makes for an excellent first impression with a catchy, memorable chorus and tons of energy. The sporadic use of harsh vocals provides a sharp contrast to the melodious cleans.

Things get a tad generic with "Fairytale", although it keeps the memorable and lively tone of the beginning of the album, adding a touch of aggressiveness. Thunderstorm sounds, somber piano chords and an intimate vocal melody serve as the beginning and contrast in "Numb for Claims". The composition takes a more interesting turn, while still in familiar terrain, with tempo changes, powerful guitar solo and epic choruses. A groovier and almost danceable facet of the band appears in the catchy "Elusive", anchored in a rhythm that comes close to the pop metal of the 80s, with a nearly Disco rhythm. FACING FEARS exudes pop sensibilities here, demonstrating that they can write songs that would not sound completely out of place on the radio. It brings to mind a song like "Dance Macabre" by GHOST, thinking of a similar example.

"Bridges & Lights" follows a similar format to the previous songs, although it accentuates the 80’s influences, especially taking one or another note of some mid-tempo songs by VAN HALEN or BON JOVI. Meanwhile "Take Me Back" takes a more Hardcore inspired route – at least on its intro, it never truly feels Punk –, being one of the songs that suffers most from the production of the album, having a stiff drum sound and a noticeable, weird effect on the vocal layering. The album's power ballad is next. "Why Do We Wait?" takes great advantage of both the acoustic guitar and the piano, once again demonstrating the band's talent for writing a poppy tune in the best of senses. It is a beauty of a song, being the most impressive and memorable track on the album. Vocals resonate with echo in a soulful melody; bass provides depth to the song while everything builds towards an explosive mid-point. Guitars carry a nostalgic feel, imbued with sadness.

The rest of the record does not add much more, although it maintains the same level as before. "Artemis" has an intense last third, while the intro of "Memories" seems to be straight out of an anime opening. "Heal No More" brings the groove back, putting a great last note to the album with an anthemic second half. In short, "Horizons" is an album that meets the goal of being an entertaining listen and is ideal for killing some time off. Despite being a little samey, it is still an enjoyable record. A little less compression could help to distinguish the different instruments better and to keep the drums from sounding so stiff and lifeless in the heavier and faster sections. Nonetheless, FACING FEARS knows how to write a chorus and their strong melodies will undoubtedly get stuck in your head as you jam along.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Chapter II
3. Fairytale
4. Numb For Claims
5. Elusive
6. Bridges & Lights
7. Take Me Back
8. Why Do We Wait?
9. Artemis
10. Memories
11. Heal No More
Lineup:
Deniz
Lucas
Frank
Record Label: 7Hard Records
     


Rating

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Edited 17 September 2019
 

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