Review Summary: Belgian Deathwish Inc. Hardcore? Yes, please.
Man has 2012 already been quite the year. No year ending list or compilation would be complete without a couple Deathwish Inc. releases, naturally, with that said I expect to see Rise and Fall’s Faith
on a few lists from those who enjoy some dark, quick and gritty hardcore. Rise and Fall is indeed a quality hardcore act, originating from Ghent, Belgium in 2002 they have already made themselves one of the bigger hardcore bands in Europe and have gained enough of a following to get signed by Deathwish and get some exposure over here in the U.S. For Faith
Rise and Fall is:
Cedric – Guitar
Vince – Bass
Bjorn – Vocals
Wim – Drums
Let’s begin by stating that Faith
is not for the faint-hearted. It is like I said earlier a very dark album. That’s not to say it’s not a fun and enjoyable record but the longer more experimental songs are very dark. It begins with "A Hammer and Nails" and right away you can just tell
that this was produced by none other than Converge’s Kurt Ballou. It is widely known that he does most the producing for most Deathwish bands but it is worth mentioning that this records grit and primary vibe are greatly enhanced by his production skills. Back to "A Hammer and Nails" its blistering speeds clocks in at just 1:14 with the succeeding songs "Deceiver" and "The Gallows Await" following suit and both finishing in two minutes or under. "Deceiver" begins with a blazing drum beat that transforms from gunfire on the snare to blast beasts and back, it then progresses with a somewhat quirky guitar riff that carries the verse for a bit while the bass is thundering below. All the members of the band have a key ability in that they can all play at increasingly quick speeds. Even vocalist Bjorn can keep up with everyone else as he belts out his fiery lyrics. Many of which cover death and defeat, or his disgust with deception, lies.
It is not until we get to track five, "Things are Different Now" that we get a change of pace. Here we have a song at the length of 4:27. This one is a builder. It begins with a lone riff, with the bass and guitar both solemnly playing together until another guitar track begins along with the drums. This is where the darkness really begins. It’s actually a much slower song and instead of focusing on quick drumming and blazing riffs it fits itself to playing in a very dissonant and off-kilter style. The song while bordering on drone nuances does pick up during the chorus’ and really ends quite nicely with a huge sounding chord progression that makes the song resolve well. The next song, Breathe
follows in a similar fashion to its predecessor and uses the same minor key progressions in a very dim sounding atmosphere.
Now we return to what we heard in the first five tracks of Faith
and back comes the fiery riffs, the blazing drums and thundering bass. This all continues in similar Deathwish fashion for tracks seven, eight and nine. Then we get to the one last track, "Faith / Fate", it opens up with fire but then it settles and the band finds their pace and begins a unique progression where it goes from riff to riff, while one guitar is playing in the semi-tone interval and utilizing the dissonance as a droning effect over top everything else. It then changes to a slow and sludgy chugging riff. It should also be mentioned that "Faith / Fate" is the longest song on the record clocking in at 6:47, taking up about a 5th of the whole record. And it easily encompasses everything this record is. Chaos, darkness, grit and speed.
In the end Faith
comes across beautifully. I really think that Rise and Fall have done something great here and are well deserving of their success in Europe and exposure to the U.S. It would also be foolish to say that they aren’t one of the better and most consistent hardcore acts around. They constantly deliver good material and that doesn’t change in 2012. If you are looking for an album that will kick you around and then confuse you then here you go. Here’s to one of the best hardcore records of 2012 thus far.