New Jersey-bred, post-hardcore group, Senses Fail, continue to push musical boundaries after 17 years of creating. With their latest release, If There Is Light, It Will Find You, they’ve continued to maintain their unique post-hardcore sound, while introducing billowing melodies and elements of balladry. Written by lead singer and last original member of the band, Buddy Nielsen, this album takes the listener on an emotional journey through the trials and tribulations of Nielsen’s life.
Hinted with gritty aggression and angst, the album opens with songs sharing pop-punk elements from the band’s early album, Let It Enfold You. Though energetic, the melodies soon reveal a darker theme of the album: mortality. Nielsen illustrates the trials of miscarriage, his wife’s near-death childbirth, and coping with his wife’s Multiple Sclerosis, through raw, emotional lyrics. Beginning with anger charged rhythms, then transitioning with the cold, heart wrenching line “I just want to watch your eyelids open every day,” “Orlando and a Miscarriage” informs listeners of the struggles Nielsen faces in accepting the loss of his child.
If There Is Light, It Will Find You slows down with the song “Shaking Hands,” illustrating acceptance within the stages of grief. The gravity of mortality is translated through minor guitar riffs and a steady, looming beat. The authenticity of “Shaking Hands” speaks to people of different backgrounds and across a multitude of life’s conditions. Though Nielsen’s life experiences may not be directly relatable, the emotions he conveys through his lyrics are universal.
Closing with the ballad-like title track, the album leaves the listener with a sharp sense of recovery and acceptance. Though characterized with heavy feelings of loneliness, defeat, and despair, Nielsen voices, restoration after the storm of loss is possible by respecting the dead through loving oneself. Exceptionally organized, the album captures the listeners with relatable feelings of angst, then flawlessly transitions into illustrating the baggage of real-world hardships, and closes with acceptance, courage, and perseverance.
If There Is Light, It Will Find You, is a timeless album that will endure the midst of the constant change of life.