Rating:
7.9
Soulfallen - Grave New World
4 March 2009


01. A Hearse With No Name
02. Devour
03. To The Wolves At My Door
04. This World Is Bleeding Flies
05. Grave New World
06. Towers Of Silence
07. Embrace The Scythe
08. Serenity's Throne
09. We Are The Sand


Soulfallen despite being not very well-known, seems to have a solid, growing fanbase and experienced members who get along well, so one must expect to find neat stuff in their albums. Their third album is expected this December, so this might be a good time to check the band out by giving a listen to their 2009 release Grave New World, a nice treat by its own.

According to their website the band play "melodic dark metal from the black blooded, crestfallen heart of Finland", and, though overly dramatic, that statement is correct, already represented by the cover and booklet's silvery, bleak pictures. Their music is a blend of melodic death and melodic black metal with lots of symphonic sounds thrown in. Speaking of their brand of melodeath, it represents the newer, Finnish kind (compare to Insomnium, early Omnium Gatherum or Norther). The symphonic sounds were littered all over their first album in a very dramatic fashion - here they are slightly less detectable although still numerous in the introductions and verses. A second dimension, gentle at times and dark at other moments, has been added to the songs.

The performance is certainly the brightest feature of this album. Kai Leikola handles both the death metal and ferocious black metal vocals very well, providing variety to the songs. The tasteful and appropriately bleak riffs also possess bite and force. Seems that the orchestral sounds are emulated from the keyboards instead from actual orchestral instruments. Nevertheless, the keyboardist has done a good job though the little, gentle piano notes left scattered across the album sound better. Last but not least, the drummer Matti Auerkallio (Katra, October Falls) deserves a mention for his stellar drumming, especially in the more black metal influenced parts.

The only problem with this album? A song starts, riff one, riff two, keyboard sounds flow, vocalist changes techniques through the verses in a predictable schedule, drummer pounds like crazy. All of it followed by the same sequences with very little variation. Granted, all the songs are well crafted and not very boring, lyrics sometimes apocalyptic and misanthropic in the best heavy metal manner. On the other hand, the production could have been handled a bit differently - sometimes a great riff is buried underneath the symphonic mist or a cool drum sequence isn't audible enough. Those flaws, however, can be quickly overlooked by digging into the album more thoroughly by turning the volume and concentration up.

The band has left us with a dessert in the end and so does this review. The ninth track, "We Are The Sand" is a true gem featuring some blissfully melancholic moments and grandiose vocals performed by guest singer Lars Eikind Si (ex-Before The Dawn and Winds) so maybe it be best you hear that one first for it will spellbind you instantly.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Soulfallen
Album: Grave New World


 


written by Milena | 16.09.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Milena - 16.09.2011 at 13:39  
Much thanks to my lovely proofreader who improved this a lot.
Ernis - 16.09.2011 at 13:43  
Written by Milena on 16.09.2011 at 13:39

Much thanks to my lovely proofreader who improved this a lot.

No thanks needed. Reviews like yours are pleasant to (proof)read.
K†ulu - 17.09.2011 at 11:23  
Not for me judging by the description, but I will check that last song; let's see. Black elements are the only thing that pique my interest just a little. Great review.
Milena - 17.09.2011 at 13:09  
Written by K†ulu on 17.09.2011 at 11:23

Not for me judging by the description, but I will check that last song; let's see. Black elements are the only thing that pique my interest just a little. Great review.

I'm not a black metal listener, so I can't say of what kind are they, I could simply notice their presence And the last song is just awesome, yes.
Thank you for your comment.
DerRozzengarten - 18.09.2011 at 12:47  
Tried the last song, We Are The Sand and they're definitely Finnish indeed there's a specific bittersweet ambiance that comes to the surface when you deal with a finnish band that chose to exile all pain in anger and vice versa Beautiful song, takes its time to unfold and i have to admit that the slightly trembling clean voice remind me to an extent of The Wounded I will definitely check the new album, as for now, soon enough i will try this one as a whole, good job on the review!
Milena - 18.09.2011 at 12:49  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 18.09.2011 at 12:47

there's a specific bittersweet ambiance that comes to the surface when you deal with a finnish band that chose to exile all pain in anger and vice versa

That's why at least 50% of my bands are Finns
DerRozzengarten - 18.09.2011 at 12:55  
Written by Milena on 18.09.2011 at 12:49

Written by DerRozzengarten on 18.09.2011 at 12:47

there's a specific bittersweet ambiance that comes to the surface when you deal with a finnish band that chose to exile all pain in anger and vice versa

That's why at least 50% of my bands are Finns

And from the tube link of Soulfallen i fell on another finish band, Whispered, when i saw they play melodic samurai death metal i laughed my ass off but they embed cool jap folk elements judging from "dead color inside"
Milena - 18.09.2011 at 16:03  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 18.09.2011 at 12:55

Written by Milena on 18.09.2011 at 12:49

Written by DerRozzengarten on 18.09.2011 at 12:47

there's a specific bittersweet ambiance that comes to the surface when you deal with a finnish band that chose to exile all pain in anger and vice versa

That's why at least 50% of my bands are Finns

And from the tube link of Soulfallen i fell on another finish band, Whispered, when i saw they play melodic samurai death metal i laughed my ass off but they embed cool jap folk elements judging from "dead color inside"

I was going to get a bit more into them, but I completely forgot. Are they good?
DerRozzengarten - 18.09.2011 at 16:04  
Written by Milena on 18.09.2011 at 16:03

I was going to get a bit more into them, but I completely forgot. Are they good?

The song sounded promising, dark, jap folk references which actually were good, nice solos etc, i don't know concerning the rest of the songs, but this one was nice!
Milena - 18.09.2011 at 16:06  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 18.09.2011 at 16:04

The song sounded promising, dark, jap folk references which actually were good, nice solos etc, i don't know concerning the rest of the songs, but this one was nice!

Might find a way on my check-out list then
Justicelust - 18.09.2011 at 22:48  
Three tracks of this album are amazing and incomparable ( We are The Sand, A Hears With No Name, and Grave New World) great band.

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