FAHRAN - V-A-P-O-U-R-S (Album)
Rock/metal five-piece FAHRAN are looking towards the future with their long awaited new album ‘V-A-P-O-U-R-S’, out 28th June 2019. Frontman Matt Black stated “I feel ‘V-A-P-O-U-R-S’ has captured our feelings, personal growth, obstacles and achievements over the last four years of our lives, as a band and as individuals. It’s a much darker, more personal and mature record than anything we’ve released previously”. This album includes the singles ‘Stand Alone’ (9.11.18), ‘State of Mind’ (13.12.18) and ‘Pyre’ (14.03.19). The album was recorded just outside the band’s base of Nottingham, produced by guitarist Jake Graham and mastered by Jake Graham together with Iago Pico.
Onto the tracks, and opener ‘Home’ starts with a sliding riff before the dual guitars of Jake Graham and Chris Byrne trade flowing riffs above incessant driving drums from stick man Josh Fahran and intoxicating bass notes from Josh Ballantyne. The catchy tempo is accentuated by Matt Black’s melodic vocals. He puts such feeling into the lyrics, “Don’t take the blame for everything, it’s not your fault you cannot win, it’s such a shame you pay for sins, now you fight with your life to find a place you call home”. There’s a glorious, heavy bridge with a culmination of all the instruments and I’m transported back to a couple of months ago at Sandford Park, where I saw this band live for the first time and said “Wow! Who are these guys and why have I not seen them before?!”.
Matt’s raw vocals are full of anguish in ‘Stand Alone’ as he gives out the call to arms, an anthemic fist pumper ripe for getting you up on your feet. “Take on the world we know, tear down this broken show, silence is your enemy. So many rise and fall, so can you hear the call, it’s all right…can’t break our souls, we won’t stand alone”. Solid, heavy drumming married with ballsy, grumbling bass underpin the crunchy guitars in this awesome track.
The wonderfully melodic soaring guitars at the beginning of ‘State of Mind’ seem to lift the tone, which felt much needed after its predecessor. This track is about depression, and although the lyrics in the verses touch on the darkest side of suicidal thoughts and feelings, the chorus is told from the perspective of someone trying to help the depressed person because they understand what they are going through, as they have experienced it. Though the subject is profound and dark, the song has beautifully expressive and masterfully executed guitar solos that are uplifting, and the powerhouse rhythm section are at their blistering best. The emotive ‘Wake Up’ has delicate guitar passages and a melody that will worm its way into your brain. ‘Blind’ is an awesome headbanger of a track with vocals that turn from aggressively growled to ghostly and tender at the drop of a hat. Galloping drums from hard hitter Josh prevail while reverberating bass notes from Josh underpin deftly-produced riffs and delicate solos from Chris and Jake.
‘Pyre’ is a hooky, melodic song based around a simple riff that does a pretty good job of getting inside your head and refusing to budge. This is one of those songs you find yourself humming or singing before you even realise you know it. It’s about anxiety, but again, doesn’t feel like it pushes you down, but rather lifts you instead. We reviewed the single when it was released (link below) so I’m not going to go into too much detail here.
A gentle guitar and haunting vocal starts the beautifully haunting ‘Already Gone’. Delicate guitars, laid back bass and understated drums show a less intense side to FAHRAN and reveal a softer, yet no less striking, side to their talents. The poignant lyrics paint a picture while the gorgeous melody invites you to move with it; this will definitely be one for swaying lighters/phone lights at gigs. ‘The Bitter Taste of You’ brings a return to the thrashing drums and throbbing bass combination, melting melodious riffs, engaging vocals that seem to have a range all of their own and one seriously catchy track!
‘Silent Nightmare’ has a chugging bass riff and punchy drums, again Matt’s vocals seem to take on a life of their own, one minute they are abrasive and forceful, the next breathy and tender. Lively guitars steal the show on this complex and vibrant track.
‘Requiem’ starts quite gently and builds both vocally and instrumentally, to awesome crashing drums and frantic bass, overlaid with impeccable guitar work and awesome vocals, to the bridge where it lulls and then becomes more gentle and turns into something quite epic. Last track ‘I’m Still Me’ is an unexpectedly hypnotic song, so richly textured, with delicate and intoxicating guitar work, combined with breathtaking vocals and vocal arrangement. This multilayered atmospheric track really stopped me in my tracks, it’s simply beautiful and this stripped back arrangement is the perfect way to finish this album. It ensures you don’t forget this band in a hurry.
Following on from ‘Fahran’ (2012) and ‘Chasing Hours’ (2014), the new album shows a depth of progression and strong dynamic within the band. The subjects covered in these eleven songs are deep, dark and pivotal; anxiety, depression, anger, love, loss and self acceptance. They are all covered with care, attention to detail, sincerity and talent by the bucketload. This is an album full of songs that will mean a great deal to a lot of people, plus they are catchy as hell. What’s not to like about that? FAHRAN’s name is already buzzing around due in part to their dynamic performances in recent months at Planet Rock’s Winter’s End and on tour with SKARLETT RIOT, this album should place them firmly on the map, head and shoulders above their peers. Pre-order it at the link below! I have!
State of Mind
The Bitter Taste Of You
I’m Still Me
Matt Black - vocals
Jake Graham - guitar
Chris Byrne - guitar
Josh Ballantyne - bass
Josh Fahran - drums
18 May - Chapel-en-le-frith (Uncut Festival)
31 May - Tivoli, Buckley
08 June - Real Time Live, Chesterfield
12 July - Woolpack, Doncaster
20 July - Tramlines, Sheffield
27 July - Nottingham (Deerstock Festival)
16 August - Oxford (RabidFest)
Find out more/pre-order the album here:-