Today more than ever, a band doesn’t survive nearly 10 years in the volatile music business without overcoming their share of adversity. Yet for Ridgewood, NJ-based Senses Fail—now about to release their fourth full-length—weathering the storm of recent years has been an empowering journey of self-discovery, that’s only left the group in a stronger, more confident place. The end result of that voyage is The Fire, an album that captures Senses Fail at the absolute top of their game, playing as if their lives depended on it.
Packed from front to back with explosive, high-energy riffs, thundering rhythms and singer Buddy Nielsen’s introspective, unflinchingly honest lyrics, The Fire is yet another milestone for a band with a truly impressive discography of post-hardcore scene staples. Although the group once again chose to head to Baltimore, Md., to team up with longtime collaborator/producer Brian McTernan (Thrice, Circa Survive, Cave In) at his famous Salad Days studio, there’s a perceptible intensity to The Fire that sets it apart from Senses Fail’s past works.
The end result is an offering with an urgency that’s fairly uncharacteristic for a band so far along in their career. The group formed in 2001 and released their debut EP, From the Depths of Dreams, in 2002; next came 2004’s Let It Enfold You—their first full-length—followed by Still Searching, which debuted at #15 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Then the band’s next release, Life Is Not A Waiting Room, came in 2008, marking the entrance of bassist Jason Black (formerly with Hot Water Music). To date, Senses Fail have performed multiple worldwide tours and their catalog sales have reached over 850,000, but for Nielsen, the band’s best work is right here and now.