Senses Fail is reborn with ‘Renacer’
For more than a decade, Senses Fail front man Buddy Nielsen has used songwriting as a means of self-therapy – a catharsis to treat his inner torments and demons.
From failed relationships, struggles with alcoholism to feelings of rejection and isolation, Nielsen has spilled his entire being into his band’s heartfelt and powerful work.
But for the first time in those 10 years that were filled with four accomplished and poignant albums, Nielsen appears to have finally arrived at a good point in his life.
Senses Fail’s latest work, “Renacer,” which in Spanish translates as “to be born again,” captures a new chapter in both Nielsen’s life and Senses Fail’s direction musically.
The band has shed what little pop rock influences have touched them in favor of a truly blistering post hardcore sound that will leave fans asking themselves, “Is this the same band that wrote instant classics “Bite to Break Skin” and “Lady in a Blue Dress,” as well as the complete masterpieces of albums ‘Still Searching’ and ‘Life is Not a Waiting Room?’
The answer is a resounding yes.
“Renacer” is a marked departure from earlier works and incorporates a much heavier feel that is softly interrupted with melodic interludes that have been apparent in preceding albums.
While the album’s lyrics are surprisingly upbeat and positive, the powerful and scorching guitar rifts of “Renacer” don’t exactly clue listeners in to the sweeping changes of Nielsen’s lyrics.
Those who have followed the band since its early days know that Senses Fail has gone through a variety of lineup changes, with Nielsen and drummer Dan Trapp remaining the only original members. And after years of shuffling, the band has seemed to find the perfect mix of musical talents that enable it to continue pushing its art.
At face value, Senses Fail has appeared to abandon its tried and true songwriting formula in favor of a new linear approach that pushes the limits of what this band is truly capable of, now that its members have stepped out their comfort zone.
Tracks “The Path” and “Closure/Rebirth” are perfect examples of the exploration for a different sound that will surely have most diehard Senses Fail head-banging these catchy songs, while screaming, “This is the album we’ve been waiting for!”
A true anomaly and surprise of “Renacer” is “Mi Amor,” an English/Spanish hybrid that serves as homage to the band’s Spanish-speaking fan base.
“Courage of the Knife” will certainly become an instant favorite among the band’s diehard fans.
As with other tracks, the New Jersey-based rockers come out blaring thick and hearty guitars, before digressing to a chorus laden, yet catchy song structure that epitomizes the band’s new direction.
Whether you’re a fan of Nielsen’s smooth and clean singing, or his unabashed and sometimes brutally harsh screaming vocals, “Renacer” will not disappoint.
“Ancient Tomb” is arguably the album’s best track. Nielsen erupts into a cascade of screaming vocals, before suddenly shifting gears with clean lyrics that proclaim his new purpose in life.
Nielsen sums this up perfectly when he croons, “I fell in love 2010 November; I let go of all that I remember; I fell in love, and l let go.”
That seems to be a resounding theme in “Renacer” – finding closure and letting go, so you can move onto something new.
“Renacer” was released March 26 and is available at most retail outlets and the band’s website, http://www.sensesfail.com.