Album Review: Far West Battlefront - 'Chapters'

11 June 2012 | 9:57 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Adelaide offers their dose of brutality.

To maintain the musical status quo it is important to have fresh blood co-exist within the already established section of bands. It's no different when it comes to heavy music. And it's certainly no less important when talking in a domestic context.

Adelaide heavy hitters and essential upstarts Far West Battlefront are another band in this certain discussion. They are in an initial category that marks them by their 'potential' with the aim for the band to transition into that sought-after 'innovative' group.

Cutting through all the contrived analysis and insignificant rhetoric, FWB are melodic deathcore. The tag fits and is identifiable enough.

Debut studio album 'Chapters' is impressive enough at first glance and reads even better on paper. Roman Koester (The Red Shore, Boris the Blade) on tracking duties and engineering heavyweight Fredrik Nordstrom behind the mix. Impressive.

The delivery hits its spots early on and engages to an adequate level. However, sometimes timing can be everything and in an almost harsh sense maybe the date of the release is unfortunate. It's nothing overly deterring, but when you have Make Them Suffer and Resist the Thought drop their individual and respective doses of brutality at the same time, it's hard not to compare and judge based on these standards.

'Chapters' is a solid, consistent and energetic release, but it's clear that FWB still have some ground to make up. But hey, these are rookies in contrast; so let's not be too hard.

A tick in favour of 'Chapters' is that it blends brutality with melodic points. It's got that Whitechapel-type fondness but also a favouring for softer elements. Just listen to 'The Family, The Cure', this isn't all about malevolence. 'White Picket Fence' is a mixture of styles, while 'Everlasting Numbness' has some suitable melodic death-inspired riffs. 'All Due Respect' is that quintessential heavy, chugging moment.

Take 'Chapters' for its literal values and don't try and find appeal in sounds that simply aren't there. For a debut album there is merit. The effort is there too. Perhaps not the most groundbreaking sound yet, but the room for improvement is present.

'Chapters' is a respectable debut offering. It's a little patchy and mundane in periods, but don't take this as a scathing criticism. The effort is there and the execution almost matches. Far West Battlefront are ones to watch not so much now but going forward. While 'Chapters' is definitely worth a look in, the band appear set to do most of their damage in the years ahead.