Wow. This blasted the cobwebs away! Californian post-hardcore quintet In Fear and Faith have thrown everything at their latest self-titled offering, and it really shows. Opening track The Calm Before Reform showcases the vigorous pace and burning intensity that is tantamount through the album, combining the venomous dirty vocals, chugging riffs and pounding double - bass rhythms with a vital, soaring and melodic chorus that implores you to keep on listening. And if you do, youre in for a taste of how serious these guys are. http://youtu.be/KWhsZgDxl0c Unlike many similar bands of the post-hardcore/alternative metal hybrid genre, In Fear and Faith have used subtle electronic sampling and alternative instrumentation to bring each track to life. The use of piano and violin grants each track a greater emotive scope and an emphasis on the melodic span. This is an aspect that truly allows this band to rise above others of this kind they dont allow the brutal moments to overwhelm the melody. It is this that makes them comparable to fellow label sharers Emarosa, who primarily value the melodic over the hardcore. Whereas many bands stick to a rigid hardcore verse melodic chorus construction, In Fear and Faith use these melodic phrases of violins and pianos to slowly burrow through the verse and pre-empt the next section. This allows their songwriting to flow beautifully and not sound like an audible equivalent of Frankensteins monster, (which is undoubtedly a huge pitfall for a lot of post-hardcore bands). Lead vocalist Scott Barnes holds the perfect vocals to propel the emotional intensity of each track high enough to soar but plenty strong to lead the assertive instrumentals. Once again parallels can be drawn to Emarosa, where vocalist Johnny Craig stands at the forefront, somehow uniting fragile sensitivity and powerful conviction. A great example of Barnes vocal quality can be found on the chorus of Look What You Made Me Do, paralyzing this reviewer on a first listen with the ethereal beauty and power on display. http://youtu.be/U4r9M1swwQs The double track closer of the album Last Man Stranded and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy demonstrates everything that is great about this band. The former track verges on a ballad, before hurling the listener into an intense chorus full of anguish and rage. The latter track is a fast paced, heavy four minutes, which concludes with an oddly haunting piano melody, which fades away almost as quickly as it appears. Since its inception, In Fear And Faith has evolved constantly throughout its short six-year lifetime. Each release has been conceived with different ideas and perceptions, but it finally feels as if the band has found a comfortable place to inhabit. By combining blistering intensity with towering, unforgettable melodies, In Fear and Faith have crafted something of a masterpiece of their genre.