Fightstar- Behind the Devil’s Back

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London based alternative rock/metal band Fightstar return from a six year hiatus with their fourth album, ‘Behind the Devil’s Back’. Any doubts that ex- Busted star Charlie Simpson can hack it as a heavy rock frontman have long since been banished, and even with the notorious pop group’s recently announced reunion, Fightstar’s music remains as powerful and exhilarating as ever. The album opens spectacularly with the blisteringly heavy riffs of “Sharp Tongue” which hit you with the force and focus of a laser beam, before switching to a softer, more melodic verse and a driving, uplifting chorus. Fightstar’s sound has always been difficult to fit into one single genre, but their mix of aggressive, metallic guitar riffs, strong pop melodies and electronic experimentation is extremely potent and the vocal delivery from Simpson and co-lead vocalist Alex Westaway is always passionate and razor sharp. The only weak link is the songwriting, which is never terrible but occasionally a bit forgettable. There are still plenty of highlights, like the furiously screamed verses and breakneck riffs of “Sink With The Snakes”, the soaring vocal harmonies and kicking drums on the title track and the pleasingly traditional power-ballad “More Human Than Human”. This is a surprisingly varied album both musically and lyrically- there’s some serious anger being vented but also some insightful references to faith and God’s forgiveness. The balancing act between heavy and poppy won’t appeal to everyone but this is solid stuff from a smart rock band at the top of their game.

8/10

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