January 20, 2015 Papa Roach – F.E.A.R. (Album Review)
When a man has a dream, there is little one can do to stop him from making that dream a reality, and Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix has done just that. Realizing early on he wanted to be apart of a band, back in 1993 in Northern California, the plan was set into motion. Self-producing and releasing their 1997 debut, Old Friends from Young Years, it was two years later the band would sign with Dreamworks Records and release the massively successful Infest. Selling over twenty-million albums worldwide and captivating audiences with their high energy stage presence, cool sweet demeanor with the fans, and honesty that showed Rock stars are human, Papa Roach became a massive success. Pushing their boundaries with each and every album since, the band has once again proven that with a little hard work, dedication, and strength to power through anything, one can create a winner in the Rock world with their eighth studio album F.E.A.R. ( Face Everything and Rise).
Opening with title-track “Face Everything and Rise,” a cool mixing of Heavy Metal guitar leads to a clean sassy vocal with a reverb effect that carries the amazingly smooth lyrically ridden chorus. Reminding their audience that everyone has up’s and downs, “Skeletons” is a slower, deeper piece with crystal clear singing of Shaddix. Lyrically, the song offers up his pain and the chorus resonates with lush and haunting music. Flowing directly into “Broken as Me,” a faded, deep melody combines with a techno mix of heavy drums, alluring bass of Tobin Esperance , and wicked guitar work of Jerry Horton. Gruff vocals with dark undertones and high gentle screams make way for a pleading breakdown of distortion, adding a majestic element and tone to an emotionally courageous track. Continuing on in the same vein is “Falling Apart’” which opens with inviting singing before heavy instruments flood the background. Carried on by heavy, dark movements of riff driven guitar lines, a madding lyrical story is lent to the audience to dive into.
Keeping the emotions riding high, “Love Me Till It Hurts” is an absolute Metal love song pleading with heartfelt lyrics, monstrous axe work by Horton, and magical drumming by Tony Palermo. Next,”Never Have to Say Goodbye” is a notable emotional, sad, lyrically driven track that pulls at the heartstrings. With vocals drenching the song with colorful timbres, perfectly placed instruments add grace to the haunting melodies. Picking things up with a little help from In This Moment’s Maria Brink, is “Gravity.” In this dynamic duet, Papa Roach break out the Rap and mix it with an malicious, melodic chorus that sends chills under the skin only to be brought to a halt with a solo of outrageous proportions from Brink. The combination of voices followed by the darkness from the instrumentation makes it a beautifully disturbing masterpiece. Next up is “War Over Me” which opens with an orchestrated mix raining down with heavy drums, heart-pounding basslines, and lively guitar riffs. Distorted vocalization overlays into Shaddix’s cleaner tones with shattering lyrics that plead strength.
Opening with intense bass, “Devil” drifts into a graceful quiet vocal lead of raw and gruff natural elements, showing the diversity Shaddix can offer. With simple, yet powerful lyrics, mid-line screams and drums manipulate the massive explosion brought forth in this circulating track. Ending F.E.A.R.‘s journey is “Warriors” which features American Rapper Royce D. Carried out with anthem-like qualities, the overall huge sound is completed by a techno mix of distorted vocals. Leaving just enough room for the spotlight to shine, a well-placed solo of Royce D offers a brilliant closing to the album.
Starting 2015 out with a massive lightning bolt to the the ears, Papa Roach proves their worth and relativity to the scene. F.E.A.R. brings the listener back to the vibe of their older material while still keeping an eye toward the future. It is easy to hear the band has a sense of comfort when going into the studio for this record, and they certainly benefited from that with the seamlessly perfect record. Conquering demons and rising to the top of it all, the theme of this album will give all listeners a little hope that they can truly indeed, Face Everything and Rise. CrypticRock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.