With so many new rock bands coming to light in the past year, it seems hard to play favorites. These bands have songs you can really get into, and other ones that just don't quite seem to cut it when it comes to recording. Candlefuse is amung this brand, hailing from Rainsville, Alabama. They released a self-released EP last year, and are now ready to break out into the Christian market with their debut, Never Go Unheard.
At first listen, Never Go Unheard is a distinct blend of melodic yet hard driven rock. Lead vocalist Ben Honeycutt possesses a very eclectic sounding voice, and seems to shine on more of the harder rock edged songs that flood the album. Of course, it wouldn't be your average rock record without some ballads, but "Carousel" and "Beauty Cries" don't seem to blend too well, with the latter rounding out the album.
Candlefuse seems to want to turn each track on the record into a head-banging fest, which doesn't work all the time, especially with Ben's vocals. It almost sounds like this album would be what Plus One singer Nate Cole's solo rock venture might sound like. On the other hand, the album does have its strong points, especially in the opener "Fighter" and the riff-laden "Bulletproof." Other highlights are "Turn Around," which is a heavy rock track that feaures lyrics about forgiveness and how it can heal wounded hearts, and the worship track "Hungry (Falling On My Knees)," which is the band's radio single. Candlefuse has given the popular song a new hard rock edge that many may scoff at, but gives it an interesting, unique spin.
The thing that keeps me leery about this record would have to be the vocals. Many times it seems like Honeycutt strains too often to hit notes he maybe shouldn't be trying for. The music is by far just as good as the work of the new rock artists, but maybe Candlefuse should work on the vocals a little more for their sophomore effort.- Review date: 10/10/06, written by Justin Mabee
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