After experiencing numerous lineup changes over the last few years, Funeral For A Friend look like a different band we got to know 10 years ago with the release of their début album, ‘Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation.’ Nevertheless despite the change of faces, the band’s riff-filled, engaging sound certainly remains intact on album number six – ‘Conduit’.
Coming in at just under the half hour mark, the South Wales group don’t leave any room for filler as they rip their way through eleven tracks full of heavy riffs and soaring vocals from the ever familiar Matthew Davies-Kreye.
As a whole ‘Conduit’ is more consistently heavy whereas previous releases have varied in style and standard. Recent singles ‘The Distance’ and ‘Best Friends And Hospital Beds’ are dominated by sharp guitars and new drummer Pat Lundy pounds his way through the latter.
‘Nails’ is hard-hitting and lyrically shows how the bands changes have affected Davies as he sings “it’s getting harder to stay true” yet throughout ‘Conduit’ you feel FFAF have overcome their obstacles and found their feet on the ground.
As the record progresses, it’s very much apparent Funeral are at home with their edgy, hardcore-influenced sound as ‘Death Comes To Us All’ has blistering drum work from Lundy and intricate riffs, whilst ‘Travelled’ stomps it way through with Davies-Kreye gives it a hint of favourable melody.
Admittedly ‘Conduit’ lacks variation and at times you feel each track blends into one another, however it’s the band’s relentless energy and superb musicianship that carries the album through to the end where you are rewarded with ‘High Castles’ a track that combines the band’s cut-throat riffs, domineering rhythm section and appreciative vocals into one all mighty finale. As Davies-Kreye declare, “our words are weapons, they are our shield” you can’t help but feel Funeral are content with where they are right now; a place where they can still grow yet simultaneously influence other rising UK bands.
‘Conduit’ is a message from a band that are willing to evolve in sound but at the same time reminds you why you’ve been a fan for the past 10 years; heavy, energetic and passionate.
‘Conduit’ by Funeral For A Friend is released on 28th January through Distiller Records.
Words by Sean Reid (@seanreid86)