Deadfall – The First Harbinger

Band Photo

Us progressive metallers Deadfall has come a long way since their striking debut the New Light EP of 2011. Then the creation and duo of guitarist Eddie Kim and bassist Sean Dusoe, the band instantly impressed whilst showing a rich potential within their instrumentals which was realised much more with the following Sentinel EP. By then a sextet, the Massachusetts band pushed on their already enthralling potency and explored to great effect the elements which within its predecessor were still in its infancy. Utilising vocals and a fuller climate of invention and sound, the second EP set a benchmark for the band which their new album The First Harbinger emulates and at times takes to richer and incendiary levels. There is a rawer intensity to the release which roars through the accomplished fusion of progressive metal and djent rapacity but also a maturity and conciseness to the intricate weaves of sonic ideation and varied vocal incitement. There is arguably nothing ground-breaking on the album, an achievement you feel is within the potential of the band as The First Harbinger seduces and gnaws on ears, but few encounters bred from the same genre have left as lingering a temptation and pleasure this year.

As mentioned the Watertown based Deadfall initially was an instrumental duo taking inspirations from the likes of Periphery, TesseracT, Meshuggah, Cloudkicker, and Animals As Leaders into their invention but it was with the addition of vocalist Chris Greene that arguably their sound suddenly found its most potent substance. Whereas the first EP gave the imagination and emotions a hunger for the horizons of the band it was the fuller and rounded endeavour of Sentinel which set sparks flying. Completed by guitarist Kyle Brennan and drummer Marc Brennan, the band easily thrilled and set up an eager anticipation for their debut full-length. Created by the core trio of Kim, Dusoe, and Greene, The First Harbinger is at ease ripping and twisting chunks out of the senses or soaking them in a warm seductive elegance, at times succeeding in doing both at once. It is a loud declaration from the band, one you suspect to push Deadfall into the brightest spotlight within progressive/technical metal.

The release opens with the instantly intriguing Death Code. From its first second the track sparks in the imagination, an opening entwining of raw riffs honed into a magnetic groove enslaving attention and an appetite already lying in 10574487_876700945693086_3261663937080269052_nwait because of those earlier releases. Once it expels its muscular breath and explodes with a torrent of djent inspired antagonism and agitated sinew swinging rhythms, the track comes alive with contagious hostility and compelling bait. The vocals of Greene roar with angst and passion, squalling over every syllable yet hinting at the seductive mellowness he also processes in his delivery. With a great carnivorous throat to the bass and its gripping invention, and a similarly predacious temperament to the guitars, the track is a dramatic protagonist which intimidates and seduces with equal tenacity. That smooth vocal charm of Greene does make its appearance within the song, that moment offering Palms like enticement within the otherwise rigorously aggressive tone of the track. It is a scintillating start to the encounter soon backed up by Sentinel.

The second track is just as creatively imposing and skilfully imaginative with Greene soaring melodically over the jagged enticement of Kim’s guitars and the rawer captivating weight of Dusoe’s bass. Though in many ways the song is a kinder less forceful provocation than its predecessor it still carries a menace and flirtation which entwines to create a riveting and imposing adventure. It is hard to avoid references to Deftones with the song but also thoughts takes whispers of TesseracT and Meshuggah into what is nevertheless a distinctly fresh and thrilling encounter. The same applies to The Divergence, the following track kissing the senses with an opening shimmer of crystalline melodies and warm enchantment before sculpting a voracious spine of jagged riffs and incitement through their middle. The song flows and lurches with an enticing which bruises as potently as it seduces, Greene mixing up his outstanding delivery whilst his colleagues produce a severe and absorbing tango of hungry sounds.

Both In Death’s Path and Sirens ensure the album continues to find a new facet and twist to its provocative storm of enterprise, the first searing ears with a tightly wound binding of acidic and grooved animosity over which caustic vocal squalls roar and rage as rhythms prowl through the emerging scenery. It is a strong and appealing challenge but comes truly alive with the quirky melodic toxicity which weaves within the tempestuous onslaught. It gives the song a depth and invention which its successor takes to its heart, its emotive beauty and melodic eloquence living up to its title as it paints another distinct venture within the album.

Shades Of Inception works on synapses next, its opening knot of sonic manipulation and coarse vocals with a seeming intent to brawl an attention grabbing entrance. The cleaner approach of Greene amidst equally softening textures provides an attractive landscape though it is within unpredictable and turbulent walls of djent fuelled riffs and punchy rhythms. It is a skilful merger which lets both extremes flow and shine with clarity even though locked in each other’s determined arms. The track’s mesmeric ingenuity is emulated by Visage, its own fusion of both climates seamless and invigorating for ears and emotions. The bass of Dusoe again finds a dark presence which simply lures complete attention though not to the detriment of the crusading and battling opposites of sound created by Kim. Though it does not spark in the passions as rigorously as previous tracks, it still leaves a lust for more.

The band gives the listener a chance to catch their breath with brief instrumental Orca which is strong and enjoyable but not really adding much more to the release, before the next up Utopia reveals its transfixing soundscape. The bass instantly steals ears and passions with its bestially rapacious sound which is soon joined in success by atmospheric melodies and a caustic yet elegant range of ravenous riffs and immersive sonic hues. With thumping rhythms framing the gentle but forceful maelstrom, the song soars as it explores its glorious depths and the listener’s imagination. The track on its own shows just how far Deadfall and their sound has evolved, it a mighty proposition which envelopes and inspires with majesty and passion.

The album is completed by firstly New Light, a track which brings essences of Between the Buried and Me to its incendiary and breath-taking wash of melodic and evocative grace locked in a tempestuous and at times severe climate of aggressive artistry. It is followed by the nine minute long Harbingers: Dawn, a song which encapsulates and draws all the potency and qualities shown across the album into one unique and epilogue like conclusion. It is a formidable and thrilling end, if arguably a couple of minutes too long for personal wishes, which leaves The First Harbinger on a plateau just as lofty as it began and to be fair maintained for the main across its journey.

Deadfall are ready to join the big boys of progressive metal on the evidence of The First Harbinger, its sensational body as invigorating and exciting as anything the genre has offered this year.

The First Harbinger is released on August 5th. For more info http://www.facebook.com/deadfall1

http://deadfall.bandcamp.com

9/10

RingMaster 04/08/2014

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Deadfall – Sentinel EP

deadfall

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 organica2385053675_2 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.

www.facebook.com/deadfall1

9.5/10

RingMaster 17/06/2013

 

 

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Killtek: The Noise of Rage/Silence of Self Destruction EP

KILLTEK

 Norwegian band Killtek is probably a new name to most but on the evidence of their impressive debut EP it is unlikely they will remain so for too long. The Noise of Rage/Silence of Self Destruction EP is a magnetic and intriguing release with a sound which with its merging of genres is a thoroughly compelling and irresistible force.

The Trondheim based band was formed in 2011 by guitarist and songwriter Erik Winther who across the following year recruited vocalist Peter Bains, guitarist Kjell Andres Nilsen, bassist Tommy Kviseth, and drummer Thomas Farstad to the project. The line-up of ex-members of bands such as Torch and Grown Into Nothing has the experience of numerous tours across Europe and Asia and of creating well received albums, a gained pedigree and depth which is openly apparent within the tightly skilled craft and musicianship which fires their first release. Musically the quintet create a unique sound which is part metal, part industrial, and part metalcore, with flames of electro, and groove metal vibrantly flavouring the finely sculpted ambience soaked encounters within the EP. Their sound is enthralling and though arguably the band does not create new aural tools to define their creations they explode with something fresh, invigorating, and distinctly belonging to Killtek alone.

Mixed by Caliban guitarist Marc Görtz, the EP opens with the atmospheric soaking of elegance and sonic seduction of instrumental KILLTEK EPCOVERLeft Behind to Die. It is a melancholic piece which weaves around the ear to mesmerise and inspire emotions of solitude and at times loneliness but is punctuated with aggressive expulsions of striking riffs and matching rhythms. They are provocative moments rather than violent expulsions to intimidate and frame the continually glowing electro wash of beauty and emotive persuasion.

The following Game Changer begins with similar loud whispers, an electro teasing with sinister breath introducing and leading into the brewing shadows and prowling aggression. Before long the track is in full stride with sinews pressing against the ear whilst the excellent vocal brawls of Bains squall and challenge with passion and malice. Where the first track suggested the merger, here the song brings full industrial metal and metalcore might into a seamless union with warm electro enticement to forge an evocative and demanding triumph. The band state influences as the likes of Fear Factory, Emmure, and Cloudkicker, all you can imagine leaving inspiration for this song, but you can also add elements of bands such as Sybreed, Toxic Grind Machine, and The Browning, here and across the whole release, to something which is undeniably uniquely Killtek.

Beyond the Rage continues the post apocalypse soundscape of the EP, its opening cataclysmic narrative the premise for the following sonic ravishing and brutal savagery to follow. Tech metal viciousness from Winther and Nilsen lashes the senses whilst vocally Bains sears and scars with his again impressive scowling tones. Even the keys have a snarl and spite to them which niggles and haunts beneath the brawling furnace of sound and uncompromising rhythms. It is an exceptional track and the biggest storm of the release though seriously challenged throughout.

The following instrumental Infernal City is a chilling expanse of blistered ambience and stark oppressive atmospheres with a dulled yet taunting melodic sun, its lingering warmth sheltered and denied by the bleak landscape and air. It sets the scene for the following conflict and demise of Earth Ends, its opening battle scene soon lost within a grievous maul violating metalcore intensity and rhythmic antagonism. Again the guitars spear and entrance with skill and enterprise to flair against and incite further the malicious assault of the bass and drums, whilst all the while there is that electronic temptation lighting the air though that too feels agitated in certain moments on the track.

The Noise of Rage/Silence of Self Destruction EP is completed by two equally immense and thrilling encounters in the bruising forms of Warlord and Signs, both furies of fierce passionate provocation and intense destructive defiance bought through measured heart borne passion. Killtek has begun the year with a dominant and impressive debut which with things like being booked to play the main stage at Trondheim Metal Fest 2013 alongside Hatebreed, Gojira & Born of Osiris, could and should be the first steps in a swift and forceful ascent for the band.

https://www.facebook.com/killtekmetal

8/10

RingMaster 22/02/2013

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