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Flaw – Home Grown Studio Sessions – Album Review

21 November 2009 14 Comments

By: Darius

flaw

I recently received a copy of the new FLAW album, Home Grown Studio Sessions, from a courteous fan and All Knowing Force listener. It’s always refreshing to meet passionate music fans. Considering everything that was covered in my last article on this band, I have been anxious to hear new music from Chris Volz and company. The current line-up of FLAW is Volz along with Lance Arny (guitar) and Ryan Jurhs (bass) with new additions Andy Russ (guitar) and Sean Rued (drums). Not quite the collective that produced the still amazing Through The Eyes, but at least it’s a majority.

Home Grown Studio Sessions was entirely recorded, engineered, mixed, and produced by the band. Sean Rued created the cover art. It’s a true DIY album, and it shows, as the overall production isn’t the greatest. It was obviously done on a tight budget and I will not fault the guys for that. As a matter of fact, credit is due, because Home Grown Studio Sessions is a pretty darn good album, despite the production shortcomings.

FLAW Live

FLAW Live

After a short intro, the crunchy guitar riffs of “Concealed” come blasting through and serves as a reminder that FLAW is back. Volz sounds great with his melodic vocals and than a full-on scream towards the ending of the track. This is the FLAW song that should have been on Endangered Species, the band’s disappointing second album. However, this is the only song on the entire record where Volz lets it rip with his scream that FLAW and Five.Bolt.Main fans are accustomed to hearing.

“Alive Again” is another noteworthy track on this record. I love the guitars on this one. Jurhs provides the perfect bass line as the song continuously crescendos until crashing into a classic metal breakdown. I think “Alive Again” could have really benefited from a little rage from Volz but nonetheless, it’s still an awesome song.

The album’s centerpiece is “Voices”. Chris Volz is an extremely talented lyricist and singer and he really shines on this song. “Voices” is a gorgeous ballad featuring acoustic guitars, keyboards, and exceptional harmonies. The acoustic guitar solo is superb. I really can’t say enough good things about this track; it’s one of the finest FLAW songs ever created. Pretty crazy considering my unbridled love for all that is Through The Eyes.

Mr. Chris Volz

Mr. Chris Volz

Finally, “Somebody’s Victim” deserves a special mention in this review. This track is a slower number as well but features some killer guitar solos from Andy Russ and Lance Arny. These two have a real chemistry, and it’s on full display as Russ and Arny take turns soloing with each other. Really great stuff. This kind of guitar work was non-existent beforehand with this band; even when FLAW was a five-piece years ago.

I can hardly believe it, but FLAW has created a solid metal record that I will be listening to for quite some time. I was expecting some more screams out of Volz, he has one of the best metal voices, after all, but still a solid performance by the oft-troubled frontman. The vocals are also layered a bit too much for my taste. However, as a whole, Home Grown Studio Sessions is a body of work that should make the members of FLAW very proud. I won’t predict whether this record will lead to another record deal or increased exposure for FLAW, but I certainly hope it does. I’m a believer again.

Home Grown Studio Sessions can be purchased from Dig Station.

Please check out the band’s MySpace for tour dates.

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Note: You can download Chris Volz’s entire solo album for free on our free music page – yes, it’s legal. Five.Bolt.Main has two records (one studio, one live) that can be downloaded there as well.

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14 Comments »

  • Carla said:

    I give it 2-3 days before someone comes here and wonders why you flipped from your original article.

    I want to listen to this!

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  • zebo said:

    Darius is leading the nu metal revival.

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  • thedisciple said:

    This makes me want to own this but why is that side charging 99 cents for a pdf too. Lame.

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  • Vinny said:

    This is a good example of something being a little too late. Flaw came towards the tail-end of nu-metal and not many people care in 2009. This site has been very good to American Head Charge and they met the same fate. You can only screw your fans so much.

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  • ArchedIsisByleveling said:

    Vinny is spot on!

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  • mAAT said:

    unlike mostband, FLAW is very versotale in ther sound. they can punish you with blistering guitars and booming drums one minute, then soothe you with beautiful harmonies and melodies. haha – i am a crooner now

    good review darius

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  • Moosey said:

    “on full display as Russ and Arny take turns soloing with each other”

    What the hell?

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  • Vinny said:

    Exactly how does this soloing happen?

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  • Trevor said:

    This is their greatest work to date in my opinion. True the sound quality isn’t HD Blu Ray quality but I think it sounds pretty damn good, especially since I read they recorded it themselves. I think what especially stands out on this album is the intricate guitar work. The band has matured and they are aging well. As far as what Vinny said, I respectfully disagree. Of course we are all entitle to our opinion and that is perfectly ok. It would be a pretty boring world if we all thought and acted the same. One thing we all have in common is caring enough about music, in this case FLAW, to come here and take the time to write about it. Back to my take, I give this album 9 out of 10! I hope FLAW is around for many years to come.

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  • Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    Trevor,

    I’m fairly certain via was being sarcastic. Moosey is usually sarcastic, and Vinny can be too, at times.

    I *do* agree with what Vinny said in his first post, that it may be too little too late. He’s right. The same thing happened to American Head Charge. They put out two solid albums, but out of sight, out of mind.

    I haven’t heard the record yet, so I’m not at liberty to comment. I believe the production has gotten in the way of what really is a great album. I don’t fault the band for trying. Plus, Darius really gave the album his approval. He enjoys some really horrendous music, but he’s spon on when it comes to Flaw.

    Also, in my half decade of doing this show, I haven’t heard many positive things about the members of Flaw as functioning human beings. I think that says a lot too.

    Thank you for visiting the site. Check out Darius’ other article on Flaw. You can access it from this link.

    http://allknowingforce.com/wonderful/?s=flaw

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  • cool-new-ways said:

    This band was very solid at one point. I have reviewed these new tracks and they are totally lame. Nothing like the first two releases. The title,Home Grown Studio Sessions speaks for it’s self,Production is piss poor and each song is every boring and drags on and makes you want to sleep. your drive is gone!

    If you plan to do do this on a real level,take my effective advice and invest some of your touring funds and re-group and seek out a producer that could put you back into your element

    I recommend: one of the following

    Johnny K ,Collin Richardson,Andy Sneap,Rusty Cobb,Jason Bieler

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  • cool-new-ways said:

    even the cover art is dirt poor.

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  • Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    I have listened to the album, and even putting aside the poor production, it’s safe to say – unless they get major help – Flaw is an embarrassment at this point.

    We were in contact with Sean Rued, their current drummer, but his email address was terminated. He was a nice enough guy, though. Lance Arny responded to one of our emails, but then he stopped. Maybe he looked in the mirror and took a heart attack.

    The bottom line is this band deserves where they are, as they have done all of this, and I mean all of this to themselves. Sure, Chris Volz did our show two or three years ago, and he, although drugged up, was very, very respectful.

    I’m not out here to throw insults at people. I’m just calling a spade a spade.

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  • Alan said:

    Darius you are an idiot…Endangered Species wasn’t disappointing, it is their best release to date.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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