|Release Date: October 30, 2012|
|Record Label: A&M Octone Records|
Three years after the release of Memento Mori, Flyleaf has returned with their third full-length album, titled New Horizons. It will be the last Flyleaf album featuring vocalist Lacey Sturm, who announced her departure from the band last week.
The album opens with the powerful “Fire Fire.” The song conveys some of the tones from their self-titled debut, but with a stronger and more mature sense of song-writing. The second track, “New Horizons,” is also the album’s first single. It seems an odd choice for a single due to the choppy flow and lack of hook.
“Call You Out” is the most surprising track on the record. It’s very aggressive… the antithesis of a “turn the other cheek” tune. The guitars and bass have great tone. “Cage on the Ground” is a solid tune, and one of the strongest on album. Other stand out tracks include the loud, noisy and ambitious “Freedom,” the heavy “Green Heart,” and the album’s closer, “Broken Wings.”
The production on New Horizons is solid overall, but with any Howard Benson work of late, the vocals tend to be a little over cooked. Sturm’s vocal performance and lyrics may be the strongest they’ve been since she stopped screaming, but her voice gets buried under multiple vocal layers and effects in places where it’d be better a little more stripped down. The musicianship on the album is solid, but we don’t get to hear as much guitar experimentation as on the previous album.
New Horizons has glimmers of the raw energy of the self-titled debut, and at times pushes boundaries as heard on Momento Mori. On the whole, the album sounds like it’s made by a band just now hitting their stride and becoming comfortable with their style. Now, with Sturm exiting the band right before the release, it will be interesting to see how Flyleaf handles this change.
- “Fire Fire”
- “New Horizons”
- “Call You Out”
- “Cage on the Ground”
- “Great Love”
- “Bury Your Heart”
- “Saving Grace”
- “Green Heart”
- “Broken Wings”