The EP was hard to label. It had some rock, some emo, and some hardcore, but the sound was all their own. This time around, everything is stepped up a notch, making for a more sonic experience. Some may cling to the sound of the EP and wonder what has become of it, but subseven's sound seems to have somewhat matured. And, for lack of a better term, something simplistic seems to have become more layered, though subseven's debut EP was anything but simplistic.
The three reworked tracks from The EP ("Mayday," "Dirt Roads," and "Game of Love") are hard to swallow at first, as they seem to have been reworked to go along with the new "emocore" direction ("Mayday" is completely missing a screaming pre-chorus). Further listening should make these tunes more ear-friendly, but fans of The EP are going to feel quite betrayed. But everything has been done to incorporate the growth in the ten months since The EP was released.
Lyrically, subseven is as strong as ever. "Game of Love" still stands out to me as the epitome of what subseven's lyrics stand for. They proudly proclaim, "To think that I'm Your favorite/ To think that I'm Your son/ To hear You say, "This one's mine."/ To hear You say, "He's My son." subseven is as bold lyrically as they are musically.
subseven fans may be disappointed at first listen to Free to Conquer, but after a few listens, all should be well. This record is subtly different than The EP in many ways, but the core of subseven is still there. The EP will always be cherished as the beginning, but this is the new beginning. Or, I supposed you could say, the "Beginning Once Again."- Review date: 03/13/05, written by Josh Taylor
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