I never realized until now how deep Michigan is as a place for modern metal bands. I send my apologies and respect to anybody I overlooked or offended by not realizing how kick-ass the bands from The Great Lakes State truly are. FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS is the latest in a long line of bands carving their own path, but playing a style everyone can relate to. For Back Burner they had to overcome the loss of founder and chief songwriter Andrew Tkaczyk, which might have sunk another group. Not these guys however, as the proved they were up to the task at hand.
By the one minute mark of “Say What You Will” I already knew this record was going to be great. Jangle-filled guitars and soaring melodies give way to brutal metalcore madness. Straddling the line of college rock and modern metal, this band has definitely raised the bar over their previous two efforts. Versatile singer Dylan Richards has the ability to sing the sweetest, hooky chorus parts and then drop down to the gutter for all the growling and grunting you can handle. The a-b parts, heavy-not-heavy style carries out over the entire album the band is wise about where they inject melody and when to just let groovy parts ride out. They have overcome the loss of their former leader, done so easily and become better, more mature writers in the process. “Deep Down Inside” starts off with a harsh breakdown part, bring the sun up musically later on. “Complicate the Situation” is another bruiser that is just unrelenting and hard, until the slick along chorus comes in. There is some cool guitar stuff going on underneath done by Jim Hocking that just catches your earpiece and doesn’t let go. He is joined by Kalan Blehm who holds his end down and replaced Tkaczyk more than ably. “Only Unopened Arms” has “modern classic” written all over it. Tough and tender at the same time, its a song for dudes to mosh out to and their girlfriends to sing along to. Other standout tracks to take note of are “My Anthem-Like Symphony”, “Bottom Feeders” and “Fist Fight”. Even though there is a distinct formula at play here, I do like their musical sensibilities and their ability to milk with a riff that is working for all its worth. Pardon me now while I crank this album and do a one-man circle pit in my house.