“Pull The Thorns From Your Heart” by Senses Fail, Album Review

Pull The Thorns From Your Heart album cover. Cred to Pure Noise Records. Senses Fail are back in action with their sixth studio album, Pull The Thorns From Your Heart. The album comes out June 30th through Pure Noise Records. The new album has all of the same things that you’ve loved about Senses Fail right from the beginning, but Pull The Thorns From Your Heart carries a rather bold narrative, set forth by the band’s front man, Buddy Nielsen.

Pull The Thorns From Your Heart is heavily inspired by recent events in Nielsen’s life, such as his recent exploration of his sexuality and identifying as “queer,” meaning that his sexuality is more fluid and not adequately described in the terms homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual. The album is also heavily influenced by his Buddhist teachings.

“This record is the complete documentation of my transformative spiritual experience from the darkness to the light.  It is the completion of a journey I have been on since I started making music when I was 17. I want this record to be more than just words and music but a blueprint for how through contemplative practice you can come love, grow and blossom out of the muck of life and into the light. It is not intended to motivate in steps or exact teachings but empower. It is above all a personal story of struggle and realization.”

– Buddy Nielsen

With as much of himself as Nielsen poured into this record, it’s only to be expected that Pull The Thorns From Your Heart is an intense album. Each song conveys a certain sort of emotion, and generates that same emotion in the listener. But then you listen to the whole album, from one track to the next, and all of the songs just flow smoothly into the other. Because all of the songs on Pull The Thorns From Your Heart tell the same story, just different parts of it.

“Wounds” was one of the songs that stood out. There’s just something about the lyrics, about the melody, that resonate with you and hit you hard. There was a brutal honesty to it that just totally, completely blows you away, and leaves you breathless. And the whole time there’s this melody that just draws you in, gives you comfort while the lyrics scream truths at you that you wouldn’t otherwise face.

The melodies and instrumentals on this album are absolutely breathtaking as well. There are of course songs where you want to jam along, sing your heart out and lose yourself in. “Take Refuge” is one of them. More often than not though, you’re more inclined to just sit quietly, moving along to the melody at times while the music washes over you. The vocals weave in and out of the melodies, giving it a unique sound and vibe. Usually the vocals are recorded and produced in a way that makes the vocals front and center. Instead, the vocals and instrumentals on Pull The Thorns From Your Heart come across as one entity.

All throughout the album, you get the sense that you’re listening to something worthwhile. It’s just got that tone, that brutal honesty to it. But at the end of Pull The Thorns From Your Heart, you get the distinct impression that you’ve listened to something deeply important. It makes you look at yourself and reflect on your own story. And any album that makes you actually think – about yourself or anything else – is definitely an amazing album. Without a doubt, Senses Fail have knocked it out of the park with Pull The Thorns From Your Heart.

Pull The Thorns From Your Heart is out June 30th through Pure Noise Records. You can also stream it at SensesFail.MerchNow.com, along with track by track commentary from Buddy Nielsen himself.

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