Reviewed: May 1999
Released: 1998, Independent
Of The Fallen’s CD came to me on a CD-R along with an album cover printed on a color inkjet. This aside, the sound quality is exceptional for a demo!! In places the vocals become a little distorted but it’s not a major hindrance. Immediately upon hitting play I was intrigued. Keyboards greeted me with a “Mr. Crowley” type of melodic intro. When the tremelo picked guitars kick in with the blood curdling vocals and evil million miles an hour double kicks I’m like “YESSSS.” A million bands probably try do this but “Of the Fallen” do it right.
My first impression is that this is something like Dimmu Borgir. It’s not a rip off, but the influence is obvious. Why this band is not on a label is a bloody crime! If they were from the deep forests of Norway this would already be signed I have no doubt! But believe it or not, this band is from Austin, Texas! Thankfully this CD is not just about blast beats and speed. There are sections of songs filled with beautiful melodies on keyboard accompanied by acoustic/clean guitar. The best example of this is the last song appropriately called “Outro.” This band clearly knows how to use a very important ingredient lacking in many an extreme band – dynamics! They realize that you can’t have all blast beats or people will be bored to tears. Many songs have sections where the mayhem takes a break and clean guitar takes over. They make the transition between the heavier parts and the clean guitar very smoothly, something that is not always easy to do. It’s the keyboards that add that extra element to this band. The keys are not played with the technical genius of a Jens Johansson or with the classical purity of Dimmu Borgir, but they are played very well and fit over the riffs nicely. I did however, miss the keys on the CD’s third track, “Shores of the Dammed” which is more of a straight up song without the acoustic parts or keys. I guess they just wanted one song that was brutal all the way through.
If you like melodic “black” metal then chances are you’ll be into this. Hell, if you like melodic metal in general and can take black metal style vocals then you should check this out as well cause these guys can play!! The band has been together a little over a year and a half in its current form and we suspect that it won’t be too long before they are picked up by a label.
Visit www.texasdeath.com for more info.
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