For The Fallen Dreams - Six
5.0Overall Score

The new album from For The Fallen Dreams, Six, is a special kind of metalcore. Metalcore itself is generally a rather broad category, of course, but it’s a kind of music — ironically named breakdowns and all — that provides an opportunity for an expression of pure anguish.

Leaving the listener there, however, can get old sometimes. Shallow “just keep swimming” messages aren’t always well received, either, but there’s still a place for well expressed themes like that at times, and turning on the new record from For The Fallen Dreams gives you the feeling that you’ve found that place.

Within just the first half of the record, there’s an exploration of utter defeat and dissociation, including the point on the album’s leading single when vocalist Chad Ruhlig sings, “Another day I awake unable to escape. Another day I awake my life is losing shape.”

From there, though, the album eases into a theme of finding some meaning to life in the face of the defeat. After a somewhat generalized exploration of this on the track “Unstoppable,” Ruhlig sings about the way that he’s apparently found a good portion of his own meaning — through music — on the track “Forever.”

The album doesn’t stop there, though. It’s not just an oversimplified problem/solution presentation of life.

Six contains some striking, memorable, and unique imagery that takes the listener by pleasant surprise, imagery like when Ruhlig tells a story of an apparent love interest of the speaker who was the “perfect kind of hell.”

As for the musical aspect to the work, the band really manages to tread that line between “brutal” and “clean” well. Both sets of vocals on the album are really strong, and through it all, there’s the steady push of the music, which feels at times like it’s “majestic” and has a great breadth and depth to it.

Sometimes you need a heavy album that isn’t over the top and instead just “hits the spot,” and Six is precisely that kind of album. It feels “real” and doesn’t shy away from heavy topics and feelings while also remaining an engaging musical work.