Released: 2011, Casket Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Hmm This surprised me I must say. When I got this album a casual glance at the song titles led me to believe I was going to be hearing a Power Metal album. One could just picture the names of the songs going nicely with a bit of Euro Cheese,but no, Thankfully I was wrong. Instead I got a rather wonderful Black Metal album.
Sercati are a fairly new Black metal band hailing from Liège,Belgium. Not exactly known for it's thriving Metal scene,but hey,one band has to start to get a scene going doesn't it! Following on from two Demo releases (Sercati,and The Night Stalker) 'Tales of the Fallen' Is their debut album, and they are off to a very promising start,and as the band say themselves,their best is yet to come.
In terms of what the themes are within this album I shall let the band themselves tell you by way of a quote directly from their website: "Tales of the fallen (part I)” let us follow the epopee of an angel which decides to go down from the paradise in order to gain its humanity and its own existence. It will have to face disappointments and discoveries but also to find its niche in the middle of the men, to understand them and understand itself. He discovers the share of kindness in them but also the suffering as much feels. The angel feels that as a deep imbalance in the balance of the good and the evil. This awakening pushes it to help humanity in her search of balance. For him, it is also a question of gaining its redemption. He finds his niche while becoming like a guard: Nightstalker."
This shows us that whilst in sound and atmosphere this is very much a Black metal album,in theme it is not. This is a concept album on fallen angels, not worshiping Satan and cutting flesh,but in this day and age when nearly everything has already been said it is refreshing to find a band going in their own direction. The band have really spent time and love over this album,and presented it in such a way that you are taken musically on a journey with the Angel the album is about.Starting with 'No mans Land' which is showing how out of place and constrained he feels within his so called Paradise, 'The Fall' describes his descent from Paradise to Earth and the start of his personal freedom and self discovery "Orders is all I am,My fear is to become no one, so I have to take the long road,To go down" They really tell a great story with their lyrics.
Along the way he makes mistakes but he learns about himself and his role in the universe.'The Call' for example is how he feels he can address the balance between good and Evil.Epic stuff,and like all great stories the themes whilst residing in the fantasy genre are also universal themes that can be applied to everyone.
We are all constantly discovering who we are in life. All the lyrics and the story are included with the CD so I will not spoil it all for you,but this gives a good insight into what the band are all about.
So we know what they are singing about,but how do they sound? This is a pretty unique take on Black metal,Mid paced and melodic for the most part 'No escape','No more','Serenity's Ode','The Call','Nightstalker' all fit this template with keyboards running alongside which injects melody and atmosphere. Vocals are of the raspy variety,which suits the music beautifully.
There are some instrumental tracks,which are interesting and fit into the album nicely.
My favourite songs though are the slow melodic 'I know', and 'Running out of time'. These are very stripped back and basic,just keyboards and spoken word (raspy black metal spoken word that is!) but I find they produce the greatest emotion,they are haunting, dark and quite stunning. I hope they continue in this vein on the next album as if they do they will have a fan for life in me.
The production is good,quite a low key sound ,and very organic,which goes nicely with this less aggressive style of Black metal.This is a very listenable album and one could happily leave it on repeat all day.
This is a really great debut album, with an original concept and sound,they stand out from the crowd in this full up genre,have some wonderful melodies and tunes,and have really worked hard to put together a full package and I think their efforts have paid off,a great debut album.
Review by James Price