Getting their major label start Science Records with 2008's Shout The Truth (and the subsequent re-recorded re-release on the same label), Confide have moved on to Tragic Hero Records, a label that has released albums by He Is Legend, To Speak of Wolves and Greeley Estates. Between Shout The Truth and the re-release version, Confide spent time refining their sound, causing the re-release to be superior. They haven't stopped, and their game is once again enhanced for their sophomore album, Recover.
What seems most noticeable to me is that Confide has gotten a little harder since their debut. While Shout The Truth carried mostly just a standard hardcore vibe, their cover of "Such Great Heights" on the re-release showed more metal vibes thrown in. That sound carries over onto Recover, with more chugging guitar riffs and double bass. Ross Kenyon's screams have also adapted better to the surrounding music. I'm very impressed to hear their slightly modified sound in comparison to their debut (not due to the style change, but due to the guys stepping up their game and making definite improvements for their newer release on a bigger label). I especially love the song "Now or Never," which is intense from start to finish, with an energetic speed and clean vocals that lead to Kenyon's harsh screaming over a section of pure metalcore action. He screams "If I believed in myself as much as I believe in You, this would be so much easier, but it's not, so come and get me" over a barrage of double bass. In the midst of the harder sound represented on Recover, Confide also maintains a good chunk of emocore, as well. They're definitely a nice addition to the songs, and the band utilizes them well, though smartly not over-emphasizing them. Despite the clean vocals sounding great in their respective parts of the songs, they've never really been a strong point for Confide, so overusage of them would hurt Recover more than anything.
Besides the overall sound, Confide's lyrics have also improved. They weren't all that bad on Shout The Truth, so there wasn't much room for improvement, but they've gotten a little better this time around. "My Choice of Words" is about a friend who has turned his back, while Kenyon tries to act like it doesn't bother him ("Don't turn your back on me, you're not my friend, if it was up to me I'd never see you again, but the next best thing is that you're on your own, I really don't care where you go, it's not right that I'm thinking like this"). Kenyon also realizes that there's always that chance to turn things around ("I know now that you don't understand what it means to be a faithful friend, but I hope you realize on your own the very best thing is that we still have hope"). The band's faith takes its place in the songs, as well. "Tighten It Up" seems like a conversation between Kenyon and God, with God saying "So come to Me, I'll make you clean 'cause I can see what you're going through," and Kenyon responding with "I'm so sure this is where You want me, I'm seeing the way that You do, I need a sign right now because I'm waiting for something." While the message in the lyrics doesn't necessarily affect the overall quality of the songs, it's still great to see that Confide is displaying their faith through their music while having a home on a mainstream record label, and having the meaning portrayed through well-written lyrics.
While Confide's Shout The Truth was decently-written at best (with their live performance of the songs far exceeding the songs themselves), Recover is a huge step in the right direction for the band. They may not have achieved it quite yet, but they may be on a path to become one of the top heavy bands in the Christian market. They have everything it takes, and from what I can see, they've improved with each new release. Recover is worth the money, and Confide is worth keeping an eye on for great things in the future as well.
- Review date: 5/27/10, Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com