Review Summary: Old-school-like melodic death metal from Sweden. For fans of older In Flames and At The Gates.
The Duskfall was a melodic death metal band from Sweden who was active during the years 1999-2008. The style Duskfall played is old-school melodeath that had good production. Their works resembled old In Flames and At The Gates but had enough originality to mark The Duskfall on the legendary Sweden metal-map. Frailty - being Duskfall's debut album - brings us a punch of melodeath that is like a mix between old At The Gates and The Jester Race by In Flames.
Frailty starts with a track called "The Light". Mid-paced offbeat drums and crunchy melodic guitars dominate the track along with strong, raspy vocals. The track is a solid start for the album and actually is one of the best on the whole record, but it is followed by arguably THE best track on the album titled "Age Of Errors" which does a superb job on mixing In Flames-like melodies and the aggression of older At The Gates. The crunchy melodic guitars are once again at its best and the chorus is just pure addictive. Next songs, titled "Agoraphobic" and "Poison The Waters" continue in the vein of first two songs, blending strong melodies and aggression. While all the band members do a good job, the guitars are always on the forefront, shadowing the drums and vocals just a bit (which are both really good). After "Poison The Waters" though the album falls into a small gravel-pit because the next few songs, while not bad being bad in any manner, aren't just as memorable as the first four songs were.
Not to worry though, the title track "Frailty" puts things back on track again, and while the verses of it could be a bit more diverse, the chorus is truly epic-sounding. "Tune Of Slaughtered Hearts" isn't a bad song and has some pretty neat spots, but that song could definitely be more technical because exept a small solo, the guitarlines on it are way too simplistic. "Just Follow" and "Deliverance" are a fitting closer duo for the album, showcasing The Duskfall's songwriting ability once again, since both song have interesting build-ups that are a bit simple, but effective.
This album only has one flaw and that is most of the songs are very similar. The melodies do vary quite a bit but essentially this album, after the first four tracks, sounds like a one big song. Thankfully this big song is effective enough, and since the album is also quite short, ten songs in 40 minutes, it never becomes boring.
The Duskfall's debut doesn't bring anything new to the table (surprise, surprise) but it combines old-school melodeath and good production nicely and so is a very nice listen every once-in-a-while. Fans of melodeath should easily eat this up, but this album is also a very good gateway into melodeath in general. Good guitar melodies, harmonized leads, strong vocals (although the vocalist doesn't use death growls very often, he prefers a raspy shout) and steady, somtimes offbeat drumming. For a casual metal fan who likes melodic metal, there is only one question, what's not to enjoy about this album?