All Is Calm

Written by: BL on 13/08/2013 00:19:32

Californian christian metalcore/post-hardcore act Confide split back in 2010, not long after putting out their second album "Recover". Since then the world continued on in their absence - "Recover" wasn't really an album that left much of an impression with me at least outside of a few songs here and there. But clearly their breakup wasn't meant to be as now they are reunited and have independently released their new effort "All Is Calm" after scraping together donations (a mere $30,000+!) from a Kickstarter - an album that unfortunately falls short throughout.

"All Is Calm" borrows far too liberally from the Bring Me The Horizon of recent years - equally taking from both "There Is A Hell..." and "Sempiternal" and jumbling it all together haphazardly. On opener "Rise Up" you can immediately notice the similarities in the down tuned hardcore guitar riffs, the peppering of electronics and digital stutter effects and vocalist Ross Kenyon's tortured yells and screams (who is even a fellow countryman of Bring Me's frontman Oli Sykes). Drummer and clean vocalist Joel Piper can work a good tune when he gets it right, as choruses on "Somewhere to Call Home" and "Days Are Gone" are pleasant to sing to, but at the same time his voice gets digitised/overprocessed a bit too much on ones like "Sooner or Later" which is otherwise all familiar territory. The strange pitch shifting in the choruses on "I Won't Let You Go" is also a bafflingly poor choice - spoiling an otherwise excellent melody. Similar reservations begin to form around the dancey synthpop moments too, which are often too jarring or awkward as "Give Me A Voice" demonstrates with its cheesy arrangement and dodgy vocal filtering.

The last third of the album improves somewhat but not by a whole lot past what we've come across already. We do get to see a slightly better balance of melodies and harmonies to offset Kenyon's harsh vocals, who has up til now carried the tracks with his presence despite the unimagitive instrumentation. "Time After Time" and the closer "Do You Believe Me Now?" are the highlights of the final songs as we aren't pressed for solid choices, though the latter ends up managing to successfully play out with a pop section that for once sort of works where previous attempts hadn't.

The production on "All Is Calm" whilst not terrible by modern standards, often feels too hollow and lacks weight behind its punches to the detriment of the heavier passages (the exception being the startling end of "We Just Wanted Freedom"). And like this album's predecessor, Confide relies too often on frustratingly mediocre breakdowns to fill gaps between ideas sweet and sour. It's probably safe to assume that this album is not going to be making any big splashes outside of Confide's dedicated fanbase who gave their funding to this project. And even then, Secrets new album "Fragile Figures" features far superior, catchier clean vocals and should be preferred instead.

Download: Rise Up, Somewhere to Call Home, Do You Believe Me Now?
For the fans of: Bring Me The Horizon, Secrets, Of Mice & Men

Release date 30.07.2013

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