Sean Townsend

Beyond the Fall of Beauty

Written by: JWM on 02/03/2014 16:04:53

Birthed from the same attitude that influenced Draper to turn Bring Me The Horizon’s chaos and rage into something thought-provoking and beautiful and influenced by the tragic piano minimalism of Frédéric Chopin. It appears a young British composer named Sean Townsend have given his contemporary classical interpretation on popular metalcore songs on his debut album “Beyond The Fall Of Beauty”. A compilation of sorts of his last few years of publicly uploading the songs, he created the album for all proceeds to go to a mental health charity.

While I was struck initially by the orchestral and more tranquil approach to the album’s first track “Roses For The Dead” (Funeral For A Friend), beyond this it’s his ability to convey the plaintive melodies of the original versions and attention to detail that identifies Sean’s talent. The way piano and the string quartet intertwine on this song is also present on “This Fire Burns” (Killswitch Engage) which is also a very thought-proving piece. Killswitch Engage seem to be a strong favorite of Sean’s, as they appear on the record four times (“My Curse”, “My Last Serenade”, “Rose Of Sharyn”, “This Fire Burns”) and each are as impressive as the other. Taking metal of Killswitch’s caliber and stripping it down to such soft, beautiful minimalism is admirable. A strong highlight of the record is “Hollow Crown” (Architects) which nods to Architects’ use of ambient electronics and after it’s finished it leaves you a very introverted silence as you contemplate it.

While you have songs like “Marianas Trench” (August Burns Red) and “Hollow Crown”, perhaps more obvious picks for their briefly serene nature, it’s tracks like “The Darkest Nights” (As I Lay Dying) and “It's Hard To Speak Without A Tongue” (Parkway Drive) in which Sean Townsend really hunts deep into the song’s composition and applies his own interpretation and produces a sounds that’s distinct yet still so true to the original. It’s an interesting collision of sounds, while it does have Chopin in mind, the symphonies drift with the same atmospheric ambiance as Martin O’Donell’s work on the Halo soundtracks.

It’s difficult to find critical aspects of such a record as it’s such a nice, relaxing album. For the die-hard metalcore fan, “Beyond The Fall Of Beauty” proves as a great journey through these classic songs upon first listening. But after the first listen, what you’re left with is an easy-listening record that’s brilliantly tranquil through-out, and tragic in the right places. Yet for some perhaps it won’t go further than a first listen.

Download: Hollow Crown; Roses For The Dead; My Last Serenade; I Never Wanted
For The Fans Of: (The Chill Out Sessions -era) Draper; Killswitch Engage; As I Lay Dying
Listen: Sean Townsend's Facebook

Release Date 04.02.2014

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