Band: FLAW Album: Divided We Fall Genre: Nu metal, alternative metal, hard rock Date of Release: August 19, 2016 Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA Reviewer: Sam For Fans Of: Nonpoint, Korn, Sevendust Track Listing: 1. Fed Up (;C4USE22) – 4:01 2. Do You Remember – 3:47 3. Fatal Fall – 3:36 4. Live and Breathe – 3:10 5. Choices – 3:20 6. Wipe Away the Dust – 4:01 7. Bleed Red – 3:39 8. Let Me Go – 3:43 9. Heal – 3:53 10. When You Grieve… – 3:26 11. My Letter – 4:23
A comeback is not an easy thing to accomplish. There’s a lot of pressure that rides on the shoulders of a return, and most find themselves crushed by the weight. After 12 years of inactivity, FLAW has expectations to exceed and odds to overcome.
If you don’t know (and chances are you don’t), FLAW was a pretty great nu metal group back in the early 2000’s. They had a couple hits, toured as part of Ozzfest, and eventually got swept up in the .com boom that left lots of bands high, dry, and without a label. Now, in the midst of a major nu metal revival, the band is ready for round two. Older, wiser, more experienced, and more skilled, they’re back and trying to make a name for themselves once again.
So the question is, does Divided We Fall sweep away the sands of time and re-establish FLAW as a player in the active rock scene? Well, I’m not gonna tell you yet. Read the rest of the review and see for yourself.
If you’re yearning for technicality and complexity, you’re not gonna find it here. What you will find, though, is plenty of open strings, syncopation, and that bouncy aggression that only nu metal can deliver. Although some moments try to be heartfelt or political, overall it’s a great deal of fun. It takes me back to an earlier time, a simpler time, a time I barely remember because I was, like, four years old when nu metal was at its peak.
Indeed, FLAW is at their best when they’re angry. When they’re chugging, pounding away, spitting lyrics in a manner halfway between rapping and screaming, it’s easy to see why they attracted attention back in the day. They’ve adapted bits and pieces of modern sounds to keep things fresh, like little industrial accents here and there and even some polyrhythmic palm muting (which leads into my theory that djent is a direct product of nu metal). When called upon, they demonstrate a solid mastery of melody as well. It’s a fairly well rounded album.
Of course, it’s not without its faults (I’m not going for the pun with the band’s name because it’s low-hanging fruit). The sequencing goes from a hard-hitting first track to two slower cuts, which hurts the pacing and could turn off first time listeners. Sometimes a chorus will sound a little to forcibly radio-friendly and not match the rest of the song well. At times, the performance could be just a little bit tighter.
But these are minor faults in the grand scheme of the album. While many bands in this aforementioned nu metal revival are trying to write their own Nu Testament, this is more of a sequel to the Book of Genesis. Your Cane Hills and Ocean Groves and My Ticket Homes owe so much to bands like FLAW. This album reminds us of why they were influential in the first place.
Sam, also known by his colleagues as "Jewy Lewis and the News", has a booming voice that frightens the elderly and an innate need to inform everyone of his opinions about everything, whether they want to hear them or not. He is currently a student of Broadcast Journalism at the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.