Colorado’s Fear Before the March of Flames are back with a record that is sure to surprise awaiting fans. The Always Open Mouth, the much anticipated follow-up to 2004’s Art Damage is the band’s third Equal Vision Records release. What separates TAOM from their previous material is their expanded roster; with the induction of second guitarist Zach Hutchings and Billy Johnson on keys, the band has been able to add a new level of sound to their music. You can sense a certain “epicness” in every song. The guitar work is phenomenal; rather than constantly using distinct math-riffs in most of their songs (as it was in AD), the guitars experiment with other sounds, at times sounding ambient while at others uncharacteristically melodic and catchy. The keyboards go a long way as well, adding a well-placed electronic vibe to their music. Another thing I find great is the change in vocals. One complaint that I’ve had with the band in the past is the raspiness of David Marion’s vocals. It’s not that they’re bad or anything, but at times it seems so inaudible that there really doesn’t seem to be any use in writing actual lyrics. TAOM changes that; as well as tweaking the aforementioned problem, Marion switches it up more often, either speaking or giving a shot at singing himself (at least I think he does). There’s still plenty of singing on guitarist Adam Fisher’s part; his voice has always gone well with the band’s music and only gets better this time around.
All in all, this is a damn good album and was definetly worth the wait. Fans should be please once The Always Open Mouth hits shelves September 19th.