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Funeral For A Friend – Welcome Home Armageddon

Funeral For A Friend, Welcome Home Armageddon

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

I CAN’T remember the last time I listened to a heavy rock album as devoid of ideas as Funeral For A Friend’s fifth studio album, Welcome Home Armageddon. Maybe it was back when I heard their fourth release!

Described as a collection of songs that are designed to embrace the heady mix of raw heaviness and pure melody that helped the Welsh rockers to establish themselves as major players on the rock circuit, it’s also been described as “a fist in the face followed by a kiss on the cheek” by singer Matt Davies-Kreye.

I simply felt punch drunk listening to its incessant noise, whether as a result of the pile-driving riffs, the goth like wails or the pounding drums.

And the formula is so rigid it quickly becomes depressing. Album opener This Side of Brightness, for instance, offers the quiet before the storm… a gentle guitar intro of about a minute’s length that almost inevitably invites the countdown to the crunching riff that follows.

The only surprise is that they’ve selected this as a tiny taster, or set-up, in its own right before hitting fans with first song proper in the form of Old Hymns, which combines punk and rock to none too great effect.

Thereafter, it’s pretty much the same thing – big, stadium sized heavy rock tracks that flit energetically between full on heavy or just about radio friendly and vaguely melodic.

Sixteen (which reportedly began life as an acoustic track) and Welcome Home Armageddon conform to the latter, while Owls (Are Watching) lulls you into thinking it may be the one true ballad on the LP for the first 30 seconds.

But in the main, this album’s about making as much noise as possible, coating it in angst and apocalyptic musings and appealing to the disaffected fan-base that like to revel in their oppressive wailing.

It comes as little surprise to hear Matt explaining the title track of the LP as follows: “A friend of mine was mentioning how he felt that the best thing for the planet was for the human race to just drop dead and at times I can see and understand his way of thinking. But a big part of me has this (probably) misguided faith in humanity to kind of steer the ship in the right direction for a change.

“So, Welcome Home Armageddon is the idea of patiently waiting for the end to arrive at your doorstep and give you a nice big hug.”

Admittedly, you can kind of see where he’s coming from whenever you glance at the news headlines… but that big hug the album was supposed to offer still felt like an almighty slap around the face to me!

Track listing:

  1. This Side of Brightness
  2. Old Hymns
  3. Front Row Seats To The End Of The World
  4. Sixteen
  5. Aftertaste
  6. Spinning Over The Island
  7. Man Alive
  8. Owls (Are Watching)
  9. Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don’t
  10. Medicated
  11. Broken Foundation
  12. Welcome Home Armageddon