Disaster, Destruction, and After, A Fall to Break's fourth album since 2010, is in many ways a breakthrough for the Tucson based quintet. It's their first album to use an outside producer, but more notably, the band seems more confident and comfortable pursuing their own stylistic identity than on previous efforts, resulting in their most artistically successful work to date.
AFTB has always set their sights on the big time, and at times in the past has veered dangerously close to a mainstream hard rock sound that smacked slightly of a calculated attempt to fit radio formats. While that approach has earned them national success, performing at festivals with established acts like Sevendust and garnering radio play elusive to most unsigned acts, Disaster, Destruction, and After rectifies this perhaps unintentional error in judgment.
The album plays on the band's strengths that were inherent since their first recordings, but one-ups these attributes by adding a sensibility by simply letting loose. AFTB now play like artists aiming to please only themselves.
Nathan Shoemaker's singing has never been better, dynamically nuanced and subtle, so when the climax arrives, the impact is that much more effective. Similarly, the band tempers their modern rock with hints of '80s thrash metal and other detours.
AFTB sounds like they're their own favorite band, and that makes this album a richly rewarding listen.