Having just signed to Rise Records, Blessthefall have a lot to prove with their new album Hard Feelings. In frontman Beau Bokan’s own words; “It’s not often a band like ours, that’s been together for nine years, that has five full-length albums, and that survives the ups and downs of the music scene, gets a chance at a fresh start. We’re here to say that we feel brand new again. Signing to Rise has rejuvenated us as a band and we couldn’t be more excited. They encouraged us to be ourselves and to continue to write the music that we wanted. Our new album ‘Hard Feelings’ is a culmination of everything we love. It has all the old Blessthefall feels, along with a fresh new sound that will knock you off your feet.”

With all that fresh in my mind it’s so nice to hear the start of Wishful Thinking and subconsciously think ‘yes, this is gold, you’ve got this’. The opening riff is begging for a head bang which leads into quite a calm, tranquil verse that gives Bokan a chance to shine before the harsher vocals break out. The mixture of electronics, gang vocals and slick guitar work make for huge chorus’ and that ensures this track is a solid opener.

Find Yourself starts off with an electronic track that kicks it off with a bounce. From start to finish it just doesn’t let up, this is bound to be an incredible song to hear live with a clean chorus that begs for a crowd to shout it. Two songs in and the energy of this album is already huge.

Midway through the album the bands current single Cutthroat pops up. It’s one of those tracks that does what it says on the tin, its full of swagger and angst which is broken by a melodic chorus. This lightens the track marginally before the band throw out a breakdown that leads into a soaring bridge. A harder side to the album but still easy listening.

Starting with a short piano piece; Sleepless In Phoenix becomes a surprisingly big song, the chorus with its echoic vocals is a sure crowd pleaser. This is a track that makes you feel, the emotion put across in the lyrics here is quite honestly ‘something else’. Sakura Blues is another track that builds from a quite serene introduction to a catchy and melodic, yet hard-hitting belter of a song. The driving drum beats coupled with the almost siren-like guitar work here delivers something a bit different to the rest of the album.

The album closer Welcome Home for a good few seconds had me thinking I’d accidentally opened my iTunes and put Escape The Fate on. What a throwback style tune. It’s not as standout as other tracks on the album but it’s consistent throughout and the ending from Bokan’s daughter is a special note to end on.

Having listened to this album about four times now, it’s honestly not even boring yet. Have Blessthefall delivered? I think so. If you like bouncy metal-core then this is for you, the Rise Records influence is clear on this album and it works. 9.5/10