|Fall Of Eden - The Warrior
13 March 2012
01. A Call For Blood
04. Till Valhall
05. Bloodied Dawn
06. Dying Breed
07. I Am Vengeance
08. Envied By The Gods
09. The Legion
10. The Warrior
11. Day Of Solace
Target audience: People that like their metal highly melodic, but not all too flowery. Will help if you don't mind Viking-themed lyrics and a lot of soloing.
These are tough times for fans of flashy, fast and melodic metal with harsh vocals and a touch of northern darkness (though, seeing how narrow this genre description is, I would be surprised if it were any other way). Occasionally, bands like Euphoreon or some folkier entities like Brymir come along, but don't leave much of a trace. Wintersun's mastermind is obviously trying to break Axl Rose's record in making fans wait for quite a long time for a new album, Children Of Bodom and Norther haven't exactly thrilled the masses with their new releases, and purely folk bands such as Ensiferum or Equilibrium don't quite fit. Fall Of Eden hope to take over this scene - will they make it? With this album, not quite, but maybe with subsequent ones they shall.
These four lads from Illinois obviously have a fascination with a stereotypically metal part of European cultural heritage, for they sing (or better yet, growl and occasionally sing and chant) about Valhalla, feasting, ships, wargasms (te-hee!), and, yes, have a song with a chorus in German titled "Jägermeister". If you're expecting to hear folk leanings, you won't be disappointed. If you're expecting synths, I hate to break it to you, but The Warrior is an almost strictly guitar-centric album.
"Guitar-centric albums in metal? What else is new, Mora?" Really guitar-centric, sillies. Supersonic (huge props for the rhythm section for keeping up with the pace) and highly melodic riffing, Iron Maiden/In Flames-esque harmonies, sporadic acoustic parts and long intervals of shredding are the foundations on which this album was built upon. Even though at some points you can clearly hear their influences through Taylor's and Steve's playing, they bring their own personalities to the table and it is clear that they are both working towards crafting their unique styles. Now, I love the smell of shred in the morning and won't ever discourage bands who wish to pay their tribute to the great institution of the heavy metal solo. But a two-minute-long guitar-dueling section placed in every other song might be a tad too much - they make my head spin at times.
When it comes to production values, I have this rather unkvlt quality of preferring cleaner sound - when faced with a choice of being mentally transported to the muffled sound of the mid/late 90's ("the time of magic and ATMOSPHERE") and actually being able to hear all the instruments properly, I'll choose the later. The sound of The Warrior is like a slightly modernized version of the one present on early Amon Amarth albums or Children Of Bodom demos, and it works up to some extent, since it suits the tone of the growls quite nicely and does wonders for the album's dark(ish) atmosphere. But I was irked by the fact it made the drums sound thinner than they should be, and that the bass is almost inaudible.
Ultimately, it's up to you. Fancy spending an hour with something like this? Onwards, grab your sword and fight the Horde! Or the Alliance, whatever you prefer.
Written on 22.05.2012 by
A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.