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Review: Senses Fail - Renacer

Review: Senses Fail – Renacer

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The English translation of the word “renacer” is “to be reborn.” That said, Senses Fail couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate title for their fifth full-length album. Renacer is different in almost every way when compared to their previous work. Lyrically, this album is their most “happy” … it’s not an album full of songs about substance abuse, suicide, and seeing shrinks. And in terms of the album’s overall sound and tone, it’s heavy. Senses Fail always been a heavy band, but they take things to a whole new level here, and this time the heaviness is consistent across all 12 tracks.

You’ll learn right away in the opener and title track that a new Senses Fail has arrived. Vocalist Buddy Nielsen’s screams are like a kick to the teeth, and they’re relentless all the way through the song.

The title track transitions right into the hard hitting “Holy Mountain,” which is notable for the absolutely insane, almost metal-style growls in the bridge: “Bury me in, Bury me in your love!” This is one of the best moments on the entire record.

The first single released was “Mi Amor,” which I thought was an odd choice because everything is in Spanish minus the chorus. In my opinion, it’s the weakest song on the album.

The full-body assault continues as we head into the middle portion of the album with “Closure/Rebirth.” Man, this song is everything I love about hardcore music. It takes you on a sonic rollercoaster ride, from the thrashing intro and verses to the almost angelic and cleanly sung “Let it go, let it go…” melody that slowly fades out to bring the song to an end. This is one of the more beautiful songs the band has written.

One of my immediate favorites is “The Path.” It starts out as a sludgy sounding hardcore song, as Buddy delivers some punishing lyrics over an effects-filled bass line, before it morphs into a very atmospheric and cleanly sung chorus, which sounds almost identical to something off a Deftones’ record. In fact, I hear A LOT of Deftones influence on this album.

The latter portion of the album includes some songs that have an older Senses Fail vibe to them, especially “Ancient Tombs” (a song that would not sound out of place on their 2006 release, Still Searching) and “Snake Bite”, which features probably the catchiest chorus on the album.

“Courage of the Knife”, which is an absolute juggernaut of a song, follows and features some excellent gang vocals. The ender “Between the Mountains and the Sea” is your typical Senses Fail ender – usually a longer song that tends to be one of the softer ones. The title fits well, because of it’s atmospheric feel.

In the end, this is an album I’ve been waiting for from this band. They ditched the pop punk “vibe” here with more of a focus on just expressing themselves without depending on a catchy melody. I’ve followed these guys dating back to their From the Depths of Dreams days and needed something with this type of energy.

Actually, it’s not even that. I’m just happy that Buddy finally appears to be comfortable with his life because he’s never sounded more confident than he has on Renacer… and that’s why I appreciate this record so much.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

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