Senses Fail explore a harder, sludgier sound on their latest album, “Renacer.”
Three notes into the grinding track of Senses Fail’s Renacer, it’s pretty clear we’re in for a much heavier approach than we’ve come to expect from the band. The sludgy, looping riff and scorching vocals are a stark turn from the cleaner, poppier songs that made the New Jersey post-hardcore quartet scene favorites on albums like 2004’s classic Let It Enfold You up through 2010’s The Fire. “When you look in the mirror, are you the person you thought you’d be?” Buddy Nielsen screams. The band’s answer is clearly no.
Listen to Senses Fail’s Renacer after the jump.
The blistering pace continues throughout the rest of the dozen tracks. Following up “Holy Mountain” is another churning metal groove that explodes from the muck into a stridently sung chorus hook: “Live, love, learn,” Nielsen sings. That’s a crucial lesson for any band; endless repetition can’t be creatively fulfilling. In fact, the title of the album, Renacer, translates into “to be reborn” in Spanish. On “Mi Amor,” the bilingual approach reappears with verses shouted in Spanish. Renacer’s soaring grandeur continues on “Closure/Rebirth,” which takes the band to even loftier heights, before collapsing in a storm of static. “Closure is the breath that brings you back to birth,” Nielsen intones.
“I’ve always wanted the band to move towards being less pop-driven and heavier and more exploratory… We needed to change it up, do something different, move forward,” Nielsen explained in an announcement for the album.
The shift in sound is a natural extension of changes that have taken place in the band itself: Following the departure of songwriter and guitarist Garrett Zablocki, Strike Anywhere’s Matt Smith has since has stepped in, subsequently adding to Renacer’s heavier vibe. The album was also produced by Shaun Lopez, who knows a thing or two about volume and power from working with Deftones.
“I’d like people to start thinking about Senses Fail as, ’I wonder what they’re going to do next,’ rather than, ’I think I know what the record will be like,'” Lopez said. Mission accomplished. One predictable thing we can expect, at least from this album anyway, is a blast of tuneful power and sincerity; some things never change.
Renacer will be out March 26 on Staple Records. Stream it below!
2. Holy Mountain
3. Mi Amor
5. The Path
8. Ancient Tombs
9. Frost Flower
10. Snake Bite
11. Courage Of The Knife
12. Between The Mountains And The Sea
+ Listen to Senses’ Fail’s Renacer.
Photo credit: Staple Records