Review Summary: Before I discovered this band, I usually didn't like songs that had a lot of screaming. This has opened my eyes/ears to metalcore and other extreme metal.3 of 6 thought this review was well writtenThe Fall of Ideals
is a great album with few flaws that hopefully will stay around on the metal scene for a long time to come. Phil's vocals have improved drastically from This Darkened Heart
. Olli and Mike are both proficient guitarists. Shannon Lucas is simply a monster behind the drums. His double bass is excellent and he adds some good fills (Just listen to his blast-beating in the beginning of "Six"). Unfortunately, Jeanne Sagan's bass is almost unheard. Occasionally, it is audible, however, for instance in "The Air That I Breathe". So let's summarize the album by category...
Vocals: Philip Labonte has improved greatly from their previous albums, adding more variations to his screams and clean vocals. He also adds death growls to some of the songs (most heard on "The Weak Willed"). They are quite deep and show his prowess in the melodic death metal category. Melissa Cross has taught him well. His clean vocals are sharp and well-done. He manages to squeeze quite a few catchy choruses that'll be stuck in your head for a while out of songs such as "This Calling", "Not Alone", "It Dwells In Me", "We Stand", "Whispers (I Hear You) and "The Air That I Breathe". The verses usually consist of his metalcore shout along with a high pitched shriek. The shouting is good and not to high pitched (which has always been my beef with bands such as Unearth), however, the scream does get annoying after awhile. Especially during "Six", the opening scream is good, but I wished he used the death growl when he screams "I wish i was free of this". It is very high-pitched and rather whiney. I also kind of wished he used more clean vocals in this song, as it is one of the more emotional songs on the album. However, for the most part it fits where it is placed. The opening scream on "This Calling" hits you like a ton of bricks and contributes to the wall of sound that the album begins with. Overall, Phil has established himself as one of the premier vocalists in metalcore with this album, up there with Howard from Killswitch.
Guitars: Olli Herbert and Mike Martin have shown that they are perfectly capable of delivering killer riffs and solos before on This Darkened Heart
. Catchy and original, they showed the prowess of these two shredders. On The Fall of Ideals
, they kick it up another notch. The riffs are heavy and catchy, like on "This Calling" and "Six". Listen to "The Air That I Breathe's" intro with its catchy riff and overlay by Olli. It sounds fresh and clean. One of my favourite riffs is the intro of "Become the Catalyst". It features a heavy chug along with a distorted connection between each chug. It sounds really cool along with Phil's death growl. The solos are great and really show Olli's expertise on the guitar. I'd say the best are on "We Stand" and "It Dwells In Me". I wish some of them were longer, like the one on "This Calling", but for the most part they are great and show the six-string acrobatics of Olli. Overall, the guitarists in this album are in top form and draw little complaints from me.
Drums: Wow...just wow. Shannon Lucas is perhaps the best addition to this album. Being a drummer myself, i can truly appreciate the prowess of Shannon on the kit. He is simply a demon on the drums. His double bass is precise and fast and he throws in some terrific blast-beats as well. As said before, the opening to "Six" is incredible blast-beat work. It sounds precise, unlike many death metal bands I've heard, which simply sound chaotic and unrefined. He never really overplays either, I hate when people say he overplays on the chorus of "This Calling". They complain about the double bass and say it ruins the melody. I think it is a joy to the ears and increases the overall mystique of it along with Phil's soaring clean vocals. He also knows when to keep it heavy for the breakdowns and verses, keeping his active double bass pounding along at breakneck speeds while at the same time staying within the boundaries of control. He is growing to become one of my favourite drummers and I would love to someday play like him.
Bass: As I mentioned before, Jeanne Sagan's bass is usually inaudible on the album (and really how many metalcore albums is the bass really heard?), but at times it is a factor. "The Air That I Breathe" is an example of this as in the breakdown/lead-up to the solo it is audible and contributes to the overall sound. I guess I really can't complain because in many albums these days the bass is overpowered by the guitars. However, if the bass was audible, this album would probably get a 4.5 from me. In addition, Jeanne provides backing vocals during live performances and she does a great job. Her screams sound very similar to Phil's high pitched wails and she can even go pretty deep. Quite impressive...
As a metalcore album, The Fall of Ideals
is an excellent addition to one's collection. As a metal album, it is well above average and should be added if your a fan of great guitar work and/or great drumming. The only cons are Phil's occasional overuse of the high-pitched shriek and the lack of bass, but overall this is a great album and a good addition to any metalhead's collection. The Fall of Ideals
gets a 4 out of 5.