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Album Review

Though metalcore bands have been strip mining the singing/screaming dynamic for years now as post-hardcore and screamo influences have crept more and more into the sound, few have explored the line between melody and mayhem quite like For All Those Sleeping. With a mix of yearning, emo-inspired pop-punk and brutal metal breakdowns, their sophomore album, Outspoken, delivers heartache and catharsis in equal parts. The transitions between these two styles creates an interesting dynamic not seen in a lot of metalcore as breakdowns emerge suddenly among the albums more soaring moments to piledrive them into submission with anguished bellows and guitar chugging. These savage changes add an element of brutal moodiness to the album as its emotions swing capriciously from pleasant to punishing. Mood swings like this help to properly frame the emotions found in songs like "Tell Me the Truth" and "Backstabber," which feature ruminations on betrayal, deceit, and all other matters of character that are the cornerstone of dramatic, youthful angst and anger. For All Those Sleeping are able to make this dramatic style work for them in the long run with a sound that's focused more on emotion than technical wizardry. This makes Outspoken an album that might not dazzle metalcore fans with its six-string acrobatics, which aren't really anything to scoff at, but it will certainly have no trouble pulling them in with its fury, raw aggression, and mercifully light use of corny production flourishes (though they do manage to sneak in some dubstep, so approach at your own risk).

Biography

Formed: 2007 in St. Cloud, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in St. Cloud, Minnesota in 2007, For All Those Sleeping combines bouncy, heartache-filled pop punk with metalcore to create their own dynamic, hybrid sound. Consisting of singer Mike Champa, guitarist and singer Jerad Pierskalla, guitarist and keyboardist David Volgman-Stevens, and drummer Ethan Trekell, who all met in high school, as well as bassist London Snetsinger, who joined the band in 2009, the quintet has a sound that punctuates its melodic yearning with brutal breakdowns. After self-releasing...
Full bio
Outspoken, For All Those Sleeping
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