Flaw – Home Grown Studio Sessions – Album Review
I recently received a copy of the new FLAW album, Home Grown Studio Sessions, from a courteous fan and All Knowing Force listener. It’s always refreshing to meet passionate music fans. Considering everything that was covered in my last article on this band, I have been anxious to hear new music from Chris Volz and company. The current line-up of FLAW is Volz along with Lance Arny (guitar) and Ryan Jurhs (bass) with new additions Andy Russ (guitar) and Sean Rued (drums). Not quite the collective that produced the still amazing Through The Eyes, but at least it’s a majority.
Home Grown Studio Sessions was entirely recorded, engineered, mixed, and produced by the band. Sean Rued created the cover art. It’s a true DIY album, and it shows, as the overall production isn’t the greatest. It was obviously done on a tight budget and I will not fault the guys for that. As a matter of fact, credit is due, because Home Grown Studio Sessions is a pretty darn good album, despite the production shortcomings.
After a short intro, the crunchy guitar riffs of “Concealed” come blasting through and serves as a reminder that FLAW is back. Volz sounds great with his melodic vocals and than a full-on scream towards the ending of the track. This is the FLAW song that should have been on Endangered Species, the band’s disappointing second album. However, this is the only song on the entire record where Volz lets it rip with his scream that FLAW and Five.Bolt.Main fans are accustomed to hearing.
“Alive Again” is another noteworthy track on this record. I love the guitars on this one. Jurhs provides the perfect bass line as the song continuously crescendos until crashing into a classic metal breakdown. I think “Alive Again” could have really benefited from a little rage from Volz but nonetheless, it’s still an awesome song.
The album’s centerpiece is “Voices”. Chris Volz is an extremely talented lyricist and singer and he really shines on this song. “Voices” is a gorgeous ballad featuring acoustic guitars, keyboards, and exceptional harmonies. The acoustic guitar solo is superb. I really can’t say enough good things about this track; it’s one of the finest FLAW songs ever created. Pretty crazy considering my unbridled love for all that is Through The Eyes.
Finally, “Somebody’s Victim” deserves a special mention in this review. This track is a slower number as well but features some killer guitar solos from Andy Russ and Lance Arny. These two have a real chemistry, and it’s on full display as Russ and Arny take turns soloing with each other. Really great stuff. This kind of guitar work was non-existent beforehand with this band; even when FLAW was a five-piece years ago.
I can hardly believe it, but FLAW has created a solid metal record that I will be listening to for quite some time. I was expecting some more screams out of Volz, he has one of the best metal voices, after all, but still a solid performance by the oft-troubled frontman. The vocals are also layered a bit too much for my taste. However, as a whole, Home Grown Studio Sessions is a body of work that should make the members of FLAW very proud. I won’t predict whether this record will lead to another record deal or increased exposure for FLAW, but I certainly hope it does. I’m a believer again.
Home Grown Studio Sessions can be purchased from Dig Station.
Please check out the band’s MySpace for tour dates.
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Note: You can download Chris Volz’s entire solo album for free on our free music page – yes, it’s legal. Five.Bolt.Main has two records (one studio, one live) that can be downloaded there as well.