Further Seems Forever – Penny Black
Even though they couldn’t keep a lead singer for more than one album, Further Seems Forever still managed to put out three excellent records in the early 2000s before calling it a day. I was very excited about this reunion album, and as soon as I started listening found the distinctive guitar sound of FSF to be back as if no time had passed (despite this being their first album without a new vocalist, here reuniting with their original one). While enamoured with the opening track ‘So Cold’, the rest of the album left me a little disappointed. Not that it’s bad by any means, just not as great as I’d hoped. Maybe it’ll be more of a grower like their second album.
Dawnbringer – Into the Lair of the Sun God
A few months old but I’ve just got into this awesome metal concept album about a warrior on a mission to destroy the sun.
Benjamin Gibbard – Former Lives
The formerly prolific Death Cab for Cutie have only released 2 albums since the masterful ‘Plans’ in 2005. Aside from a couple of songs I’ve not cared much for either of those releases. In this first album under his own name, frontman Ben Gibbard doesn’t take a radically different approach with most of the tracks sounding Death Cab-esque. I probably liked this better than the last 2 Death Cab albums, but it’s not a return to greatness.
Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Their previous album ‘Axe to Fall’ somehow passed me by but I found this to be the most instantly gratifying album from hardcore giants Converge yet.
Anberlin – Vital
Anberlin recorded a couple of fantastic records a number of years ago (2005’s Never take Friendship Personal and 2007’s Cities) before signing to a major label and quickly putting out a very average album which went so far in its laziness to release an utterly pointless re-recording of an older album track as its lead single. A forgettable follow-up appeared in 2010 and it seemed Anberlin might well be on the way out. This much mooted return to their youthful energetic sound boasts a couple of tracks nearer to the quality of their earlier work but is not deserving of the rave reviews I’ve been seeing online.