Senses Fail - Pull The Thorns From Your Heart (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Senses Fail

Pull The Thorns From Your Heart (2015)

Pure Noise Records

For me, I’ve always wanted Senses Fail to go into a heavier direction ever since classic heavier songs like “Bite To Break Skin” or “Wolves At The Door.” On their last album, Renacer the band did just that with their direction and created a new sound for themselves that built off the heavier framework of most of their songs. With a growing enlightenment and recent tell all about his life, Buddy Nielsen spills his guts on the band’s newest effort, Pull The Thorns From Your Heart a four part experience into the secrets of Nielsen’s past and how he continues to learn and move forward from it.

Pull The Thorns From Your Heart has more of a punk aesthetic to it than Renacer did. The songs are fast and heavy yet still maintains that punk blend into the newer hardcore sound. Each song is driven by the emotion of Nielsen’s lyrics and feelings as he spills some of the deepest lines he’s ever written. On this album, we get a deeper look into the things Nielsen recently has spoken about with his addiction and sexuality as well as his path to enlightenment. “Wounds” is the first look we get into Nielsen’s psyche as he screams his feelings and what they did to him, but more importantly, how it was used for perseverance.

The instrumentation is extremely interesting on this album. With Renacer, the band seemed to have a general outline of what they wanted to sound like. On this record, the sound seems more raw and organic. While this is usually a great tactic for bands, it doesn’t work out too well here. The album has all the elements of Senses Fail, past and present, but the way it is presented seems like the lyrics were the most important part of the recording process. A lot of fans have expressed contempt towards Nielsen’s newly outspoken attitude on social media, but it’s undeniable that the man is advocating radical social change in a constructive manor.

Softer songs like “Surrender” still maintain the same message but bring the mood into softer territory. It fits well into the transition between the heavier tracks it’s sandwiched between and might be one of the best slow songs the band has written. The song leads into “Dying Words,” a hardcore punk song with blast beat drumming and drawn out screaming. The song might be the best representation of the album’s sound balancing a blend of melody and hardcore. It’s these two types of songs that really make up the overall tone.

While the album has a general consistency, it occasionally gets experimental, sometimes moving towards heavier territory that could be a little more intricate. “Pull The Thorns From Your Heart” is a great track but the breakdown in the end is a little generic and could’ve been nixed or experimented with more.

Overall, the general concept of Pull The Thorns From Your Heart is an inspiring and positive record that’s important in today’s society because of how relevant some of the themes are a major part in music today as we still progress. Nielsen’s stance of the LGBTQIA community and Buddhist teachings has always been pivotal themes in music, but now more than ever seems like the proper time to vocalize it. Pull The Thorns From Your Heart may not be Senses Fail’s best album, but it’s purpose serves more than it’s sound.