Derelict Earth - And So Fell The Last Leaves... review
|Album:||And So Fell The Last Leaves...|
|Release date:||March 2011|
01. We, Experiment Of God
02. No More Sunset
03. The Locust Culture
04. At The Nadir Of Men
05. Carnal Transcendance
06. Scars Of Truth
07. Awaiting The Heat Death
08. And So Fell The Last Leaves...
A band named Derelict Earth have caught my attention recently. What we have here is a one-man project from France led by Quentin Stainer. Despite my relative indifference to the underground scene, I decided to give his second offering And so Fell the Last Leaves... a try (thanks to MechanisT for an insightful comment about the album). And I was not disappointed...
The album sounds like a combination of Opeth's Orchid with its occasional nods to black metal and pounding bass and Agalloch with its quasi-folk tunes, although still quite unique. Daintily interwoven into song textures are threads of good old melodeath bringing up memories of early In Flames and Dark Tranquility. The music is structured overall like early Opeth records, with a lot of interchange between purely acoustic passages and some really heavy stuff. Most tracks, and in particular "We, the Experiment of God" and "At the Nadir of Men," show that the simplicity of guitar-bass-drums combo can create some epic tunes (again characteristic of early Opeth).
Despite all the alleged similarities, Derelict Earth is different from Opeth. First of all, there is definitely a lot of room for growth, but the potential and talent are definitely there, so, if work and perseverance are in place, we can expect rising quality in subsequent releases. Another thing is the production. Since the album was recorded in home conditions, it loses in quality, but at the same time, this raw production, in a way, makes the album sound more kvlt.
One more problem with this one-man band is the lack of drummer, and the lack of drumming skills on the part of its mastermind; therefore, the drums have been programmed. A real drummer would benefit in two ways: first, the whole thing would sound more natural - and the unnaturalness is quite audible; second, drumming would probably be more original at some places. Nevertheless, the overall level of musicianship and songwriting is commendable.
There are actually many riffs and rhythm changes that result in the songs consisting of a great number of parts, which, simply put, keep you engaged; alterations between often multi-layered acoustic and distorted parts add to the already non-trivial nature of Derelict Earth's music. I could even go further and say that And so Fell the Last Leaves... has its own established sound and is not just a tribute to the band's influences: the subtle oriental feel is present throughout the album creating quite an original listening experience. Besides that, one is treated to some sweet growling (if that is not an oxymoron), and I tell you the truth, Quentin Stainer sounds like Mikael Akerfeldt himself. While the clean vocals need some development, they mostly fit the quiet parts well, and the overall delivery is indeed enjoyable.
So if you are looking for something new and uncorrupted by commercial success, give Derelict Earth and And so Fell the Last Leaves... a try. The album can be downloaded from the band's official website.
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