REVIEW: FINAL SURRENDER – “Nothing But The Void”
Final Surrender, the Indian Christian metal band who quickly established themselves after their formation in 2010, have returned with their latest work, their new album ‘Nothing But The Void’ . Vocalist Joseph Samuel says the record “is definitely the darkest album we’ve written but we’ve intentionally kept it abstract, it is focused more on a soul-searching experience”. Admirable in its intent, upon listening to the tracks, one wonders just whose soul they were searching as a void is indeed present.
A shorter album at length with a duration of seven average length pieces, from the get go, in both tone and structure it wouldn’t be a crime to confuse what you are hearing with that of Trivium, Atreyu or any blend of metalcore meets melodic. “Nothing But Void” and “Inescapable” strike hard initially, each containing some interesting progressions along the way with questionable interludes made up of spitting and witching vocals to name a couple. Potentially great openers that fall short on their individuality and ultimately, execution.
Things take a turn for the interesting when we hit the “Walls Of Silence” that burns the bridge and leaves what we just heard in its wake. Fast, fearless, ferocious and anything but silent, this track will see the walls torn down live. Another interesting, though less successful in its result comes in the form of “Exasparate” which briefly stands out until you give it that all important third or fourth spin only to realize the pattern that arises. It oozes elements of Five Finger Death Punch, all too quickly dropping from a good song to a fairly mediocre imitation at best.
“Failing Structures” speaks for itself as its layering, production and journey through the song itself are all too messy. Despite some impressive soloing and clean vocals that give an overdue pierce to the tension here, the track ultimately sounds like a collection of unused song parts thrown together to fill out the record. Much of the same can be said on “Alturistic Venner”, though to its credit it succeeds more in being one coherent piece as opposed to the failing structures prior.
As the album comes to a close on “Tear Down The Walls”, a track built around blunt, bland harmonics and a hook that feels loosely based on a bad rendition of anything done by Orgy, its final moments do find strength when it all comes together. Unfortunately, however, it is not enough and if it were to be, it came far too late. It is clear that Final Surrender are passionate about their music and work exceptionally hard at the exceptionally hard work that comes with being in a band in this day and age. What remains unclear is what exactly this band are trying to offer. Producing competent metalcore, progressive and melodic metal music is all well and good, but so are thousands of others. What this band are trying to offer in addition, that unique element that makes what they are doing their own, is still yet to be seen. The most frustrating part of it all is that you can hear that there is something more trying to break through here. It just hasn’t arrived yet.
A technically good, courageously produced album that certainly has its moments, one would be quite surprised if “Nothing But The Void” turned out to be the best Final Surrender have to offer.