The Fall – Self Titled EP
Thanks to the band's vocalist, Nelson, for the
CD. For those not in the know they are a four piece extreme metal
band from Dumfries, Scotland. Joining Nelson are Chris on guitars,
Jase on bass (very poetic!) and Andy on drums. The four tracks
here run for 15'43” and they seem to be over far sooner
than that, which has got to be a good sign.
“The Invention Of Our End”
gets things under way with a chunky opening in the style of
I Hate You More (for fans of the Midlands scene) or Machine
Head/Pantera if you're looking for big name reference points.
The track flows well and contains several vicious breakdowns.
Vocals, for the most part, are snarled, with the more melodic
sections being accompanied by cleaner, rather than clean vocals.
“The Power Of One” starts with a short bass
intro before the opening riff crashes in; the track then continues
in a similar fashion to the opener. “Broken Legacy”
is my favourite track on the EP. The opening riff is an absolute
cracker, chuggy yet bouncy in an old school thrash way. Pre-chorus
has a death metal feel thrown in and a stunning breakdown follows
the chorus. An extended melodic section precedes a spoken vocal,
before the ferocity is unleashed once more. “Darkest
Hour” again has a quality opening riff and chugs along
well – this one is most reminiscent of Arch Enemy.
Let's get the negatives out of the way first.
I know, from speaking to the band, that this was produced on a
shoestring. It's been mixed reasonably well although the finished
sound is slightly muffled. Bass needs to be more intense, both
for the bassist and the drum kit... more of the latter in a minute.
The overall sound needs to be cleaner and crisper. Drums get the
worst end of the deal – kick drum is practically non-existent
and the snare is very tinny. The choruses could be slightly more
prominent, or contain more hooks, whichever way you want to look
The plus points now I think! If you like metalcore,
hardcore, or melodic death metal, then you'll probably like this.
In overall style it's closest to Killswitch Engage, Trivium,
and Arch Enemy. The cover art depicts a post apocalypse
city skyline and hints at the menace contained within. Aside from
my observations regarding the sound, I can't fault the musicianship,
and this flows well. I'm extremely grateful that Nelson uses a
cleaner, rather than clean, vocal technique in the more melodic
sections – I've had a gut full of the formulaic, screamed
verse, clean vocal chorus, bog standard metalcore that so many
bands seem intent on playing. Some of the opening riffs are stunning,
and they generate loads of power in the breakdown sections. Witness
The Fall show considerable promise and I await news of future
releases with interest.