Having passed the midway point of their second decade, it sounds foolish to say Senses Fail may have found out who they want to be, or better yet, who they are.
Going from being pioneers* of the screamo scene during the mid and late-2000’s, then shifting to more of a hardcore act for 2013 and 2015’s Renancer and Pull the Thorns From Your Heart, they’ve never been an act afraid of approaching new territories. With that, a decent chunk, if not most or all, of the credit goes to Buddy Nielsen, the only remaining member from the initial lineup.
To fully appreciate the glow of If There is Light…, I had to revisit the grit of Pull the Thorns From Your Heart. Where the intensity of “The Three Marks of Existence” from Pull the Thorns… punches your skull in, the opener here, “Double Cross,” grabs you by the collar and pulls you in close; less of a circle pit, more of a crowd surf. It makes good use of one of the handful of instances of screamed vocals on the album, showcasing the album’s range early on – hooks, heaviness, and plenty of heart.