Flyleaf "New Horizons" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 29 Oct 2012 07:01:24
"I'm leaving my cage on the ground," sings Flyleaf's Lacey Sturm during "Cage On The Ground", one of the many standouts on New Horizons .
The song itself sees Flyleaf once again evolving right before listeners' ears. Guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann seamlessly shift from a crushing distorted crunch to ethereal and entrancing textures. It's like they've found the perfect meeting point between Pantera's groove metal and Radiohead's alternative bliss.
Meanwhile, James Culpepper's drumming proves impenetrable, rolling in tandem with a powerful bass line from Pat Seals. The group's instrumental prowess claws its way to the forefront on New Horizons, making for their most intricate ride yet.
At the same time, it's also their most emotional. "Call You Out" sees Sturm scream with effusive intensity reminiscent of "I'm So Sick" but with an even more vivid and pointed lyrical approach. "Fire Fire" balances six-string chaos and hypnotic vocals quite perfectly. "Bury Your Heart" begins with a resounding strum before the singer exposes the hypocrisy of the entertainment industry pleading, "There's blood on the tracks again. Do you buy what you're selling them?" It's as angry as it is beautiful.
"Green Heart" might just be Flyleaf's heaviest track yet, thrashing forward at light speed with a precise guitar assault and Sturm's growl. On the other end of the spectrum, "Great Love" stands out as heartbreakingly uplifting, while "Broken Wings" serves as an a propos closer carried by clean guitar and the vocalist's most heavenly delivery.
Even though it was recently announced New Horizons would be Sturm's last album with the group, it's as perfect of a swan song for that era as possible. Together, these five individuals turned out their best album to date. You can feel the blood and tears in every moment. At the same time, it feels like a door is still open for even greater Horizons.
Rock's most uplifting unit will continue to forge ahead, and that gives us hope enough.
What's your favorite Flyleaf song?