Retaking the throne: A From First to Last Review
ARTIST: From First to Last
ALBUM TITLE: Throne to the Wolves
RECORD LABEL: Rise Records
RELEASED: March 16, 2010
By Eric Stuckart
I’ll admit, I was a fan of From First to Last’s Heroine. It had enough unique elements to set it apart from many of its post-hardcore peers to keep it in regular rotation for quite awhile after its 2006 release. Of course, like most good things, it didn’t last for long. Lead vocalist Sonny Moore jumped ship about a year after its release, leaving the band scrambling for both a bassist and singer —Limp Bizkit bassist Wes Borland, the only talented member of that band, sat in on bass on that album.
After a misstep of a self-titled third album, it’s good to hear them return to what works with Throne to the Wolves, a release that not only circumvents their previous album, but continues the momentum that Heroine had initially started. True, bands like this may be a dime a dozen, but they have enough going for them musically to hopefully give them an upper hand over plenty of their melodic hardcore/screamo brethren.
Guitarist Matt Good, who had taken over vocals since Moore left, sounds more comfortable taking the lead this time around, and guitarist Matt Manning is competent enough at the rougher vocal passages. The more aggressive breakdowns, which are a first for the band, sound convincing.
The only point that my attention wavered, ironically enough, was during album closer “Now That You’re Gone”, which makes the mistake of forcing in an autotuned vocal line mimicking the guitar lick. The song ends up coming across as an effort to catch the attention of newer fans of the style, who sadly seem to gravitate towards that style. However, after repeated listens, it sort of makes sense, as the band had been doing the industrial-laced sound long before this became a trend.
Perhaps I’m just a sucker for well-executed post hardcore—I won’t say well-produced, as their last one was all of that and failed entirely—but Throne to the Wolves clearly sounds like the logical next step for the band. With enough musical muscle to push the band’s more derivative parts forward, the band sounds reinvigorated, where last time around they sounded as if they were trying to catch the mainstream’s attention.
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