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Album Review: Behind The Devil’s Back by Fightstar

Returning from hiatus, Fightstar have released their fourth album Behind The Devil’s Back. It’s been a long time coming, the band’s live return in 2014 peaked anticipation for new material and the UK has been crying out for a band of Fightstar’s ilk since their hiatus in 2010. Behind The Devil’s Back picks up where 2009’s Be Human left off, blending post-hardcore with aggressive riffs and metal edge.

We’ll take it that as avid Alt Dialogue readers with an obviously great taste in music, you’ll already know of Fightstar. That means we can forget about Busted references and just give you a gentle reminder to disregard Charlie Simpson’s far removed solo work and questionable TV appearances. However it is pretty salient to note that Fightstar were never really that original, take equal parts Deftones and Finch and you’ll have something pretty close to their sound. They were, nevertheless, exactly what the UK rock scene needed (and still do).

Behind The Devil’s Back offers no surprises, yet delivers plenty of punches. It’s heavy enough to please the most ardent fans with enough hooks and big Simpson led choruses to welcome back those now twenty something fans (and a whole new legion of teenagers). There’s some great songs here, the Deftones heavy ‘Titan’ has all the bluster and raucousness that you could ever need, the deep and throbbing riffs excite and make you bounce; album closer ‘Dive’ hints at the direction the band where going in before their hiatus, the quiet moments are beautiful and teamed with the electronic moments it works superbly. Yet there’s some weaker tracks that make you raise an eyebrow and question their inclusion, ‘More Human Than Human’ treads some very treacherous 80s hair metal ballad territory.

On the whole Behind The Devil’s Back is a solid and pretty good album. Opener ‘Sharp Tongue’ is a superb call to arms that gets the blood racing, while the title track sees the band at their very best – crushingly brutal riffs sit perfectly beside big hooks and a chorus you can belt out akin to ‘Paint Your Target’. ‘The Blackest Of Birds’ slows things down a notch with bursts of heaviness interspersed between bouts of expansive post hardcore. ‘Animal’ takes you back to a time when rock music was in its golden time mixing early Deftones with the hooks of Rival Schools.

It’s like Fightstar were never away.

AD Rating 7.5/10

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