Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fall of Serenity - Bloodred Salvation CD Review

Gloss and polish aren’t solely slathered onto no-talent pop-punk releases. There are more than enough death metal CDs to have the same amount of glimmer on the surface of their releases, with Fall of Serenity’s latest being one of them. Yes, production values do go hand in hand with bands such as Soilwork and In Flames and it has led to some wonderful releases, but at times don’t you wish their CDs had a much more raw sound than the polished smooth version that is on disc?

The production values on Bloodred Salvation are phenomenal in that every song feels like weeks were spent in the studio making sure every level was just right, every instrument perfectly in sync with the others, and the vocals put to just the right tone to convey the maximum amount of perfection. There are even tiny keyboard overdubs and flourishes that normally wouldn’t be present in today’s modern melodic death metal scene, or at least wouldn't come across as polished and well mixed.

Now it’s not a terribly bad thing that the production was as glistening as it was, but at times you’ll wish that the band would have been able to come across a little more raw. Sometimes parts of the songs sound a bit neutered because of the polish, such as on “Dead Eyes”. Throughout the entire song, you’ll get a sense that it comes off so much heavier when performed live. The blast beats are there, but they aren’t as punchy as they should be and the guitars crunch, but aren’t as thick as they should be.

On top of the neutering of their sound, Fall of Serenity also play it pretty safe on this release, playing to the lately popular style of melodic death metal with some metalcore elements thrown into the mix. “Raise Your Remorse” is a perfect example. The choruses are rife with melody and a modern metalcore approach while the verses stick very stringently to a straight ahead death metal approach, complete with pummeling drums and repetitive angular guitars.

When compared to their peers, Fall of Serenity need to add a little more maturity and variety to their repertoire before they can start to adequately be in the same league as Behemoth or Heaven Shall Burn. Until that time comes, you can at least enjoy the glimmer of hope that is the best song on this disc, “As I Watch”.

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