Witness 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 at it.

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.


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