For the Fallen Dreams

Changes

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Released at a time when many young American heavy metal bands are pushing the envelope of gonzo, genre-melding extremism in their bid to outdo one another (for example, Job for a Cowboy and Horse the Band, to name just two), Changes, the debut album from For the Fallen Dreams, sounds almost astonishing in its unassuming plainness. Ironically, though, this relative simplicity may constitute an even bigger advantage, for making this Michigan-based quintet far more accessible than the competition, and their more-is-better school of instrumental overindulgence. Since many of those bands' hyper-technical fireworks ultimately boil down to mostly fruitless chaotic exhibitionism, For the Fallen Dreams' comparatively straightforward, even predictable, melodic metalcore items like "New Beginnings," "Never Again," and "Vengeance" sound welcomingly familiar, and offer some striking melodic sweeps within their metallic husks, to boot. Admittedly, there are also several tracks that could use a little more excitement, either because of their rather staid, mid-paced arrangements ("Brothers in Arms"), or their descent into tiresome hardcore clich├ęs (see the gang shouts of "Hopeless," "Last Dying Breath," etc.). (Not to mention a couple of half-finished-sounding interludes in "This World Around Us" and the title track.) All of which mounts up to a far from perfect but unexpectedly entertaining listen, with hopes that For the Fallen Dreams have even better things up their sleeves.

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