Over the course of the last decade Funeral For A Friend changed British rock music forever. A bold, brave, yet undeniably true statement. The band’s journey from hardcore roots and DIY shows in Bridgend to major label records and worldwide tours has built a long and prosperous road that many homegrown bands from across the alternative spectrum have been travelling along ever since. Those that play to crowds of thousands each year on Warped Tour, that adorn countless magazine covers, that grace the stages of arenas and that still have ink drying on their recording contracts all owe a debt of thanks to the quintet’s approach, ambition and aesthetic.
For those reasons (and more) it would be easy to understand if Funeral For A Friend chose to retreat into the comforts of nostalgia and the appealing warmth of retrospect as their ten year anniversary draws near. But, instead of seeking solace in the memories of past triumphs the band have set their feet forward as they boldly stare down all that lies ahead with their stunning new album Welcome Home Armageddon.
For singer Matthew Davies-Kreye the band’s fifth album is more than just the next chapter in their story, it is the start of a whole new book:
“On Welcome Home Armageddon we truly stretched ourselves creatively. We were obviously taken aback when Darran [Smith, former guitarist] left the band but his choice allowed us to explore new territory musically, we just went in any and every direction we wanted to. The changes to our line-up reignited our passion, kicked our asses and made us work harder for this band than we’ve ever done before.”
With former Hondo Maclean and Ghostlines member Richard Boucher installed on bass and Gavin Burrough promoted to his preferred guitar the band split time between Long Wave Studio and Monnow Valley Studio in Wales and set about crafting their latest effort with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Twin Atlantic, Kids In Glass Houses, Bullet For My Valentine), the man who helmed 2008’s ‘Memory And Humanity’.
During the Autumn of 2010 Funeral For A Friend relit the fire, recording twelve songs that captured the quintessential energy of their most captivating work while simultaneously drawing them into previously unknown sounds and spaces. Moments of anger and frustration (Front Row Seats To The End Of The World) found themselves braced by evocative punk rock storytelling (Sixteen) while anthemic laments (Owls (Are Watching)) were offset by occasions of immense scale and power (Broken Foundation) as the band they knew collided with the band they never knew they could be.
With every emotion captured and channelled through an album that is both immersive and urgent Funeral For A Friend enter their second decade together reinvigorated, ready to continue on their path and determined to change things all over again.
“The excitement we have for the future of this band is all over the songs on Welcome Home Armageddon,” Davies-Kreye said. “The album is about acceptance and coming to terms with what has and is while refusing to give up on what could be. There are songs that take me places I’ve been trying to go musically all my life, I’m so proud of what we have done.”
They have been playing the summer festival run and off to Australia and Japan next month. Coming back to do their UK Headline tour in October.
“Funeral for a Friend have undoubtedly written the strongest album of their career; it was about time we heard some ‘fight’ from the band once more.” (9/10) – Virgin.com
“Memory… re-established the post-hardcore hallmarks that the south Wales clan had become famous for, and now the group has improved upon them further. That album was good, but this is better.” – BBC
“There is extraordinary heart in what they do. And there is much of that here.” – Kerrang!
“FFAF sound like they want to be a band again.” (8 / 10) – Metal Hammer