Funeral for a Friend


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Channeling the hardcore sound that acts as the foundation of metalcore and post-hardcore, Funeral for a Friend look to the driving sounds of the past on their circle pit-inducing sixth album, Conduit. While there are still plenty of melodic elements in the band's sound, especially when it comes time for a big chorus to spring up, the album feels more direct. With the album rolling in at just under 30 minutes, the Welsh band conjures up a straightforward punk-influenced aggression that isn't afraid to get right in your face and tell you exactly how it feels about something. While this doesn't necessarily add a lot of nuance to their sound, the rawness found on Conduit is refreshing in a scene filled with overwritten and over-produced albums. If anything, the way the vocals on "Best Friends and Hospital Beds" fight to keep up with the music gives the album an off the cuff feeling, making the whole thing less polished and generally more real. The real standout moment on the album has to be "Grey," a thrasher of a song that feels like a model of hardcore efficiency as it packs as much energy as it can into a tightly wound two-minute package. At times, Conduit feels like a step backward for Funeral for a Friend, but that's because, well, it is. Fortunately, the album is solid enough to prove that every so often a little de-evolution is just what a band needs, and that it's entirely possible to head into the future while looking toward the past.

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