Released: 2002, Martyr Music Group
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Council Of The Fallen hail from South Carolina and play brutal death metal. The band was founded in late 1997 by guitarist Kevin Quirion and drummer Derek Roddy. The band operated as a two-piece when they cut their first demo. Roddy, no stranger to the death metal scene, has played drums in the black thrash Aurora Borealis, and Hate Eternal, as well as on Malevolent Creation-IN COLD BLOOD, and made a guest appearance on fellow SC death-metallers, Nile-BLACK SEEDS OF VENGEANCE. He is absolutely monstrous on the drums, as his record proves. Following the demo, the duo teamed up with bassist Sean Baxter (Broken Hope, Em Sinfonia), and recorded REVEALING DAMNATION, the band’s full-length debut.
So what’s in store on this album from this group of veteran musicians? REVEALING DAMNATION is 12 tracks of solid death metal, in the vein of a faster Morbid Angel, Florida-styled death metal, or perhaps Aurora Borealis gone a step farther in the death metal direction. A comparison to Nile, minus the Egyptian influences, would also hit close to the target to describe this band.
As expected, the musicianship is very well executed, and the mayhemic drumming of Mr. Roddy does not fall short. Council Of The Fallen is more about good songwriting than brutality or indiscriminate heaviness. The riffing is tight, varying in tempo from sludgy to a full-on crushing assault not only among the tracks, but also within the tracks themselves. Tracks like “Remnants Of Existence” are full-on brutal death metal, while others, such as “Lying In Wait,” the album’s strongest standout track, and “Confronting The Absence” draw some influence from the Swedish style and feature some nice lead work and even a bit of melody. “Eternal Suffering” is a thrashy song, with great riffs. “Cast From The Heavens” is a slower song with some great breaks, and is one of my favourite tracks from this album. The album closer, “Realms Of Conquest,” closes the album of on a blazing fast note, in the European death-thrash style.
Lyrically, the album is sound as well. Interestingly, many of the band’s songs deal with the struggle against, and conquest of one’s inner demons. “Unveiling The Path” is my favourite, leading off, “Within a struggle rages, deepening of a void/Lifelong emptiness, spirituality destroyed/Awaiting answers, answers that never arrive/Destined to journey alone, alone I must strive.” While not exactly poetic, they do a good job capturing the inner torment of one trying to find a purpose.
Council Of The Fallen has produced a well-executed debut, and I think that these guys have a great future ahead of them, provided that Roddy and Baxter can find time away from their other projects to focus on Council Of The Fallen.