Witness The Fall: Self Titled EP

Since their formation in 2007, Scottish metalers Witness The Fall have pulled in a constantly increasing attention and acclaim for their extreme sounds and aggressive intensity. Through their debut demo and shows with the likes of The Casino Brawl, Horizons, and Scar My Eyes the band have left deep marks and good impressions to ensure people took notice. Their self titled second EP should bring an even stronger focus upon them with its blend of metalcore and straight metal, intrusive sounds and demanding intensity.

Upon the EP, Witness The Fall hit hard and ruthlessly with a sound borne from the likes of Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. The quintet from beginning to end treat the ear to towering riffs and merciless rhythms, which combined with the intrusive acute melodies also on offer makes the release an experience that is uncompromising and intriguing.

The release starts strong and only gets better as it muscles its way through to the excellent closer. For extreme metal fans there is plenty within the release to excite and draw from but for those less inclined to being bashed from pillar to post the melodic play and invention within is also plentiful and pleasing. To be honest the only criticism that can be placed upon its shoulders is that the music is not particularly original, of a high quality and constantly engaging it is without doubt but lacking in the sparks to set the band apart from similar fuelled bands. The indication though is that it is only a matter of time and not so far ahead.

Opening track An End To Darkness sets a blistering start with riffs to bludgeon the ear and drumming from Dilkie that demands attention. The guitars of Tony and Chris leave scorch marks with their melodic play and bruises with their stomping riffs whilst vocalist Nels growls with spite challenging with each word and syllable. A good start if not remarkable but things instantly pick up when the following song Victory assumes control.

The track is brutal, a devastating assault which grips tight steely fingers around the throat as it forces scorched melodies, violent riffs, and rhythms that leaves one staggering under their weight.  The song also fully shows the great creative bass play of Jason, an aspect not so obvious in the opener.  Though the song does not give as much diversity in melodic and sharp guitar invention it is a firmer and deeper satisfying track than the first.

The following The Dying Art Of Integrity and The Tragedy Of Man are insatiable slabs of metal which further show the band as fine musicians and sure in their delivery and creativity. There is little to dismiss about either with each song a formidable treat to digest but at this point the lack of diversity and uniqueness is clearer. Saying that though there are moments in the second of the two which border on escape into something substantially different but they never quite make the move, something the closing two tracks are bolder about.

Righteous Kill with its use of sampled words and a groove which demands obedience offers strong and intriguing diversions within the expected and pleasing aggression. This is a great step forward and improved upon further by Darkest Hour (No Surrender). The song is masterful bringing knee bending riffs, controlled and powerful rhythms plus an unrelenting intensity which overwhelms and manipulates. The song is unpredictable and apart from the vocals there is no certainty to it which is the key to why it is so impressive.

Witness The Fall , band and EP is a must check out for all metal fans extreme or not, and though as mentioned one feels the band has yet to discover its distinct voice they more than satisfies the fires within right now with this release.

RingMaster 02/03/2012

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