Review Summary: The perfect modern rock album2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Poets of the Fall are quite unique in their delivery. Nothing they do is groundbreaking per se, but the way they deliver the music almost makes you forget all other bands for that moment you're listening. It is dirty and fun at times, and wound down and weeping the next. They force you to take notice and there is nothing to do but embrace it. It's shamelessly addicting.
The immediate thing you will notice is that Marko's vocals take center stage from opener Fire thereon. His voice fills up the air around you with a stadium sized presence with a strong range and angelic, yet somewhat dark tone. It's absolutely perfect for this band and for the genre as well. His lyrics are typical at times, but spoken in a way that leads astray from insipid writing. Marko seems dedicated to these words, like they are being permeated on his soul. The way he sings the title track "Carnival of Rust" is absolutely enthralling.
"It's all a game, avoiding failure when true colors will bleed
All in the name of misbehavior and the things we don't need
I lust for after no disaster can touch us anymore and more than ever I hope to never fall
Where enough is not the same it was before"
This then bursts into an earth shattering chorus with a short but epic drum fill that is nothing short of memorable. This happens many times and there is not a single weak song on the album. Hooks are abound, and the band supports him perfectly. You can feel the enjoyment and feeling in playing these songs.
The guitars of Olli and Jaska are equally soaring. Often effects driven, they fill up the rest of the dynamic range with atmosphere, grit and stellar songwriting. There is much variation to the guitar work as well, going from classic rock solos as in "Sorry go 'round" to more progressive leads in "Locking up the Sun" and crunchy rock riffs a la "Gravity". In songs like "Carnival of Rust" and "Roses" we see acoustic guitars rise to effect. All of it is perfectly polished and layered to a beautiful effect. The most touching song to me is “All the way/4u”. It is heart wrenching and emotional in its delivery and context.
“Seems to matter what I say, so I'll hold my tongue at bay
And rather use my mouth to kiss your frown away
So your doubts no longer darken your day
So you can hold your head up high come what may”
This is all layered on top of beautiful acoustic guitar work carrying on into a piano driven outro. Absolutely stunning.
The rhythm section of Jari (drums) and Jani (bass) is thick and between some tracks, the sound quality will shift based on the dynamics of the song. This is brutally underused in this genre. You’ll see a shift of production in more aggressive songs such as “Gravity”, which has some tight bass and drum grooving and more of an arena sound in “Carnival of Rust”. You will most likely have beats and grooves stuck in your head for days. In songs like "Sorry Go 'Round" you will find the rhythm section driving the song. That is not the point however. It’s all perfectly written and executed but never really takes the spotlight away from Marko.
This album truly is classic through my eyes and ears. It is so rewarding to just relax to this album and forget about your surroundings. Marko will grab you from the get go and the rest of the members make sure you are paying attention to what he is saying. I can only hope they will expand to the U.S. in the future. This will fully satisfy any rock-craving you have. You owe it to yourself to hear these guys.
Strongest tracks: Carnival of Rust; Locking Up The Sun; Roses; All the way/ 4 u