Flyleaf – New Horizons


flyleafnewhorizoncdI’ve always loved the music of Flyleaf, and their latest album “New Horizons” is just as catchy and moving as any of their previous work. Their sound is much more conventional than most of the metal music I’ve reviewed. However, each time I listen to one song over again, I almost feel as though I’m listening to something new. Although I don’t feel that the emotional side of their music is as polished as Skillet’s or Anberlin’s, these musicians have a unique style that is quite charming. Furthermore, I am very thankful Kristen May took over the vocal responsibilities in 2012. I could tell that Lacey Sturm was highly influenced by Plumb because she sounded almost just like her. I am a fan of Plumb, but I don’t like it when other female vocalists try to copy her style.

“Fire, Fire,” opens the album with May’s scratchy vocals punching through tight (but rather pleasant) guitar riffs. “New Horizons” is less aggressive, showing the softer side to May’s voice. Bhattacharya’s backing vocals are also excellent, adding a tougher edge to the sound. The intro to “Call You Out” is a bit weak, which makes the rest of the piece fall apart. I don’t get caught up in the rhythm at all–the guitar and bass lines are kind of jumbled in with messy vocals. The album saves themselves from this calamity with the lyrical “Cage on the Grounds.” This track is almost gentle at first, then intensifies as it plays. “Great Love” follows the exact same path, starting off with soft vocal and guitar lines, then becoming edgier with each minute that goes by. I love the melancholy strains in the next song: “Bury Your Heart.” It quietly fades out, and then we’re yanked into the sonically aggressive “Freedom.” The heaviness of this piece, along with the high pitched screeching is really effective. It does keep your brain busy! “Saving Grace” is a bit more uplifting than the other tracks. However, as upbeat as this song may be, the driving rhythm never dies. It’s hard to create powerful music that is also uplifting, but Flyleaf does a fine job of this. “Stand” takes the same direction, and it ends in a marvelous way. I’m not sure if “Green Heart” worked for me or not. I like the guitar riffs; they could work in any death metal band, but they don’t merge well with May’s vocals. It just appears like one instrument is trying to overpower the other. The album ends on a soft note with “Broken Wings,” which is almost heartbreaking. The lyrics are especially stirring: “Please don’t go just yet. Can we stay a moment please? We can dance together; We can dance forever.” The words could stay with someone forever.

Some fans may miss the husky moans of Lacey Sturm, but in my opinion, the members of Flyleaf found an even stronger musician in Kristen May. It’s cool how she can deliver screeches combined with bell tones in the same breath! The guitar and bass lines are strong and tight. The drum patterns are simple, yet consistent. “New Horizons” is a lovely introduction to a new start in Flyleaf’s career. In their case, change is definitely a good thing.

Rating: 9/10

Written by Kris Tilbury

1. ‘Fire Fire’
2. ‘New Horizons’
3. ‘Call You Out’
4. ‘Cage On The Ground’
5. ‘Great Love’
6. ‘Bury Your Heart’
7. ‘Freedom’
8. ‘Saving Grace’
9. ‘Stand’
10. ‘Green Heart’
11. ‘Broken Wings’

Band members:
Kristen – vocals
Sameer Bhattacharya – guitar
Jared Hartmann – guitar
Pat Seals – bass
James Culpepper – drums

Flyleaf [2005]
Memento Mori [2009]
New Horizons [2012]

Record Label: A&M/Octone Records, Oct. 2012

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter 

Buy the album here:
 First Paradox 
 Nordic Mission

Video below for: New Horizons


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