When releasing their five track EP New Light two years ago Massachusetts band Deadfall easily impressed and set up strong anticipation of things to follow with their djent carved progressive instrumentals. It was a release which sparked a real appetite for the creative explorations of duo Eddie Kim and Sean Dusoe. It also came with areas which you hoped they expanded further as well as elements where the release suggested it could benefit from investigating, like adding a vocalist and live drums. The Sentinel EP finds the band, now a sextet, has indeed experimented with and brought in those aspects as well as pushed their imagination and invention on, and the result is quite magnificent. The three track release is a thrilling and inspiring slice of progressive metal, the band still seeded in its initial sound but a fuller, healthier, and more potent beast.
Now alongside Kim (guitar) and Dusoe (bass), the Watertown based Deadfall consists of vocalist Chris Greene, guitarists Kyle Brennan and Keith Dusoe, and drummer Marc Brennan. Taking inspirations from the likes of Periphery, TesseracT, Meshuggah, Cloudkicker, and Animals As Leaders into their own adventure, the band has with Sentinel laid down a declaration of an emerging impressive force which can only improve to greater stirring heights. The release is a teaser to a debut album scheduled for later in the year and it certainly has hunger licking its ravenous lips in anticipation.
The title track opens up the release and immediately has attention snapping in its direction especially when the vocals and organic feel of the drums make their early declarations. Initial contact comes from gnarly riffs picking and chewing on the ear whilst beats crisply lay their sinews across the instantly eager senses but it is the smouldering expressive tones of Greene which make the biggest statement for thoughts to leap upon and passions ignite to. His delivery is a Chino Moreno like wrap around words, a warm seductive tone emotively washing the intensive riffing and spiralling sonic invention of the guitars. The song is a startling and enthralling encounter and for those aware of the earlier release an exhilarating evolution. The persistent gnawing from riffs and rhythms adds riveting shadows and menace to the contrasting temptation and when vocals take on their own caustic growl later into the track, the union is sealed with rapacious majesty.
The other two songs are re-workings of two of the instrumentals on New Light, and it is fascinating to hear and see their progression from exploratory and open promise into intense and scintillating pieces of carnivorous beauty. The first Shades Of Inception takes no time to wind the senses into its muscular knot of sonic manipulation as brawling coarse vocals rage against their walls. Whereas the original version took its time to ignite its predatory passion now it is more urgently into its attack, softening up its victim for the following melodic voice of Greene and the atmospheric caressing keys to colour a tempering ambience against the rabidly tinged riff fired confrontation. Again there is nothing but lustful satisfaction ignited by the eagerly shifting blend of aggression and resourceful elegance. Deadfall have discovered the perfect alchemy to merging spirited spitefulness and incendiary incandescence, a result which leaves the listener basking in hot-blooded imagination.
Final track The Divergence shimmers with melodic crystalline warmth and light bursts before being cored by another torrent of voracious djent honed riffs, once more the union irresistible and skilfully brought to bear on the ear. Bruising and alluring in the same and every breath it takes, the song escapes into every pore, synapse, and esurient thought rife before its enterprise, whilst conjuring another unique and contagiously evocative blaze.
The Sentinel EP, as impressive as it is straight off the bat reveals more of its triumph with each additional venture, the already renowned guitar craft of Kim creating stunning paintings of sound aided and matched by each element and member of the band. Deadfall has arrived at its full sound but the EP still only suggests they are scratching the surface of their promise which is undeniably exciting. As a name your price release their Bandcamp page, there is no reason not to make the first step in joining their sure rise which has its next major landmark one suspects with the forthcoming album.
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