Saving Joshua

Forever Hold Your Peace

Written by: TL on 25/03/2012 23:04:43

I can't remember how long it's been (probably around 06 or 07?) but it seems like a lifetime ago that I first heard of Swedish emo/metalcore outfit Saving Joshua. If memory serves, they put out an EP right around the time Bless The Fall laid the foundations for the scenecore we know today with "His Last Walk", and the trendy thing to do in the Swedish underground was to start bands in the same vein (see; Intohimo, Her Bright Skies, Adept etc.). While most of those bands have put out an album or two by now, "Forever Hold Your Peace" is, as far as I know, the LP debut of Saving Joshua, and while it's been a least half a decade since bands like Bless The Fall and Underoath started the wave that this band is clearly a part of, this quartet does not seem like they've picked up a whole lot of new influences.

On one hand however, this can be seen as a good thing, as most sane music fans will testify that the genre has mostly gone to shit in recent years, with the few and far in between good efforts (like Chiodos' "Illuminaudio", The Word Alive's "Deceiver" or A Skylit Drive's "Identity On Fire") being largely ignored by a youth more occupied with garbage like We Came As Romans, Asking Alexandria and Attack Attack!. Rather than dive into the awful digi-metal of such acts, Saving Joshua have seemingly stuck with ideas from the genre's brief peak, and effectively sound almost exactly like Blessthefall did on "His Last Walk". It's the same soaring guitar melodies spliced with pseudo-heavy pummelings and topped with throat-scraping screams and high, shrill, sharp vocals that sound quite a bit like a young Craig Mabbitt.

The sound is thus absolutely unoriginal, but at least it's crafted with a somewhat classy awareness of what works in the genre and what's too much, so while "Forever Hold You Peace" may sound like a record that is way late to the party, it also sounds like a snapshot of what the scene was like before it became exclusively about breakdowns and robotuner. Songs like "Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "1337" actually have fairly catchy choruses, while "I Guess That's Emerson's Way" is recognisable for its decent gang vocals - hell the band even gets a little experimental with the odd horn in "Don't Put Your Bet On Me".

As much as I appreciate Saving Joshua's tasteful approach to the genre however, it is inescapable that "Forever Hold Your Peace" sounds like an album that should have been put out 5 or 6 years ago, and even then, I'm not sure it has enough characteristic ideas or flat out catchy hooks to have been among the top dogs of that era. I'm glad to see that these lads have stuck together and are attempting to carry the torch onwards in an elegant manner, but for them to do so in 2012 and beyond, they have to come up with something drastically strong lest they join the ranks of those that thread water in a genre that seems almost utterly stagnated of late.

Download: Dead Men Tell No Tales, 1337, I Guess That's Emerson's Way
For The Fans Of: Craig Mabbitt-era Bless The Fall, Jamie's Elsewhere, A Skylit Drive,

Release Date 13.01.2012

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