Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Soulfallen - World Expiration (2007)

Soulfallen play a very solid, albeit non-amazing, take on black/melodeath metal. The typical death grunt/melodeath snarl conversation takes place over decidedly death metal-esque riffing. The guitar sound is strong, whether in the midst of death/doom-style chugging, melodic leads, or charging solos. They have the synths and epic feel of your standard sympho-black bands, all swaddled in menacing tones and nicely incorporated into the sound. The production on this album is quite rich, helping to blend everything together and lend it the heaviness it needs.

If you're looking for something to jump into and headbang away, this probably won't suit you. The pace is much closer to death/doom, and on first listen I found myself getting bored waiting for something to happen. Listening again, I am much more satisfied with Soulfallen's mid-paced songs and subtle, non-climaxing buildups. Some songs, such as "Like Beasts Upon Their Prey," can get up to a ripping pace, as much as melodeath can (I'm not biased at all :P). However, sometimes the riffs can be extremely pedestrian (cough,Withdrawal, cough), and the chick singing that shows up on the last song, while not specifically fairy, does nothing for the integrity of the band.

This album, for me, is a pretty mixed bag. Sometimes I'm really feeling it, other times I'm suspecting it's Black Dahlia rubbish coated in chocolate. If you dig melodeath, check it out and let me know what you think. If you want something heavy, this will more or less sate you. As a debut it gives me a lot of hope for the band, but it could use some work. Points lost mostly for general melodeath lameness, as exemplified by the entirety of "Withdrawal."


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