|TFK at their finest | Posted October 11, 2011
Thousand Foot Krutch has settled comfortably into the position of one of the most enduring, well-known Christian rock acts. Their original signature rapcore sound on Set It Off has morphed significantly over the past decade, while still maintaining a heavy beat and the searing vocals of frontman Trevor McNevan. September 2009 saw the release of their album Welcome to the Masquerade, a record that cemented their role as one of the loudest Christian voices in arena rock. Two years later, even as the TFK guys are hard at work in the studio wrapping up their next full album (tentatively titled The End Is Where We Begin), Welcome to the Masquerade is getting a bit of an update.
This album was arguably the strongest of Thousand Foot Krutch’s career to begin with. The album looks at life as a delicately maintained masquerade: we all wear masks. We all find places to hide, and yet at the same time we all long to be found out, to be seen as we are. It is an album for the broken hearted, and yet it is not afraid to be bold. The explosive “Fire it Up” has found its way into games and movie trailers over the past two years. Well before the release of the album “Bring Me to Life” was making waves due to winning Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat promotion. Although the album holds many raw, adrenaline-laced rockers like “E For Extinction” or the cathartic “Scream,” it also holds some of the most gentle moments in TFK’s discography. “Look Away” addresses issues of suicide and cutting with a refreshing and earnest sensitivity. “Already Home” closed the album off on a hopeful, almost worshipful, note.
Now the album doesn’t have to end there. Thousand Foot Krutch added three tracks onto the album, tracks that are so strong it seems almost unfair to call them b-sides. The first of these songs is “Shook.” The muted, restrained beginning is shattered by the signature crunchy, dark guitars and driving melody that is Thousand Foot Krutch at their finest. “Shook” sings the theme of the original album release— it is a song of self-discovery, coming to the end of the dark places in your own mind to find that there is something brighter waiting for you. In a beautiful moment of honesty, McNevan sings “Outside, these streets are cold as ice. Never thought I’d have a chance to come alive again, see through your eyes again.” The bridge makes it clear where our hope is found: “I can see things clearer this time, won’t be long now until everything’s alright. Take my hand and let’s walk into the light.”
The next addition is “Take it Out On Me,” a bass-heavy track with an incredibly infectious melody. This song is a picture of how helpful, and even necessary, taking the mask off can be. In lyrics that could almost be seen as the flip side of the song “Scream,” the song boldly declares “scream if you want to, shout if you need to, just let it go.” The pulsing song seems to have been created for loud volumes and fist-pumping.
For the new closer of the album, “Anyone Else” takes things in a very unusual direction. The song explores the process of trying to heal a relationship, the endless attempts to apologize when the other person is not ready to forgive yet. The speaker of the song pleads that “some things are worth fighting for.” The song feels like a slightly more mature version of some of FM Static’s (side project of TFK members Trevor McNevan and Steve Augustine) earlier work. The song is hopeful, although it ends slightly unresolved. This is perhaps the most unusual addition to the album, but it works well as an album closer and continues the theme of honesty, showing how it can relate to relationships.
Adding to an already very strong project, especially a few years down the road, can be an uncertain endeavor, but Thousand Foot Krutch pulls it off beautifully. These new tracks are Thousand Foot Krutch at their finest: brutally honest, cathartic, hard-rocking, and ultimately hopeful. The added tracks enhance the theme of the original release without feeling redundant. This is an incredibly good investment for long-time TFK fans or for fans of Skillet or RED who are looking for something new in a similar vein.
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