Funeral For A Friend: Conduit

Welsh post-hardcore heroes return to form

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Almost a decade on from their defining debut looked set to see Funeral For A Friend become one of the British rock scene’s biggest exponents, they sadly now seem to be hanging on in a market of cheap imitations and more glamorous sheep in wolves’ clothing.

Following on from 2010’s back-to-basics Welcome Home Armageddon, Conduit sees the Maesteg crew again play to their strengths of well-crafted songwriting chops, mixing a refined hardcore clout and Kris Coombs’ often mesmeric melodies.

With the latest incarnation of the band featuring former members of Rise To Remain and hardcore mob Hondo Mclean, the opening salvo of Spine and the title track are unsurprisingly embedded with a more metallic vibe in the clinical riffs and beefed-up breakdowns. The short, the punchy one-two of Best Friends And Hospital Beds and Nails contain some of the best choruses the band have written in years, with Matthew Davies-Kreye’s sincere if occasionally yelped vocals rising to the occasion.

All 11 tracks are done and dusted in 29 frantic minutes, which may not propel FFAF back to their previous heights, but reaffirm their status as one of the country’s finest purveyors of melodic post-hardcore.

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.