Funeral for a Friend

Welcome Home Armageddon

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It isn't hard to understand why some listeners have become burned out on the whole post-hardcore/screamo/melodic hardcore sound; one could write a book about all the forgettable and totally faceless screamo bands that flooded the market in the 2000s and managed to score label deals despite their lack of memorable songs. But Funeral for a Friend have been one of the more impressive screamo bands; they beat much of the competition when it comes to successfully integrating melodic elements and hardcore elements. Welcome Home Armageddon has something missing from all the cookie-cutter screamo albums that have flooded the market in the 21st century: an honest to God sense of pop/rock craftsmanship. Funeral for a Friend have the hardcore element down, but they also know how to bring the hooks; "Spinning Over the Island," "Broken Foundation," "Sixteen," and other tracks on Welcome Home Armageddon are hooky and infectious in a way that so many of the less memorable screamo recordings are not. Funeral for a Friend play this material like the mean it; they play the hardcore elements convincingly, and they are equally convincing when delivering pop/rock hooks and pop/rock melodies. Of course, some hardcore purists and metalcore hard-liners will find Welcome Home Armageddon to be problematic simply because of the pop/rock factor; those are the folks who would argue that the term "melodic hardcore" is an oxymoron. But then, Welcome Home Armageddon obviously wasn't recorded with hardcore purists in mind. This album is for those who like screamo, but only when it is well done -- and while Welcome Home Armageddon isn't quite in a class with 2005's Hours or 2007's Tales Don't Tell Themselves, this 2011 release nonetheless indicates that Funeral for a Friend have a lot of life left in them.

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