Review Summary: Catchy, brutal, tight, and armed with crushing slower moments, False is an excellent demonstration of groovy death metal done right.
The Netherlands are pretty damn good for death metal; popular candidates for classic bands from the region include Pestilence
. However, during the 90s, they shared a fair bit of their audience with that of Gorefest
; groovier and heavier than both of the aforementioned bands, but with equally excellent musicianship, they succeeded in creating strong competition with the album False
Gorefest's musicianship is more evident here than anywhere else in their discography; while following efforts went in a much more identifiably "death n' roll" direction, False demonstrates the band performing at a much more brutal pace. The guitar work is often much more chord based than a lot of death metal, with a comparative lack of tremolo picking, but with no shortage in interesting technical licks. The guitar leads are also excellent, often serving as atmospheric backing, but some great solos are present throughout. The bass guitar is reasonably audible and plays lines comparable to the rhythm guitars, like a lot of death metal, and keep the sound grounded and thick. The drumming is one of the strongest areas of the album, with tight and fast double bass often present, while the fills used are consistently excellent. The vocals are also strong overall, having a bit of a grindcore tinge but with an extremely powerful low end and a guttural texture that few vocalists can match. The production is quite clear but also dense, giving the album a thick but tight sound.
While the album opens with the fast and furious The Glorious Dead
, one of its primary strengths is how absolutely crushing its slower moments are. The following track State Of Mind
spends a lot of time at slower tempos, managing to be one of the best tracks on the album through a catchy use of pinch harmonics and brutal riffs. Likewise, Reality - When You Die
and the title track manage to nail slower tempo grooves, with the latter having an almost doomy feel at times. This capacity for brutal lower tempo moments is carried into the majority of the tracks, and with some strong higher tempo work utilised as well, it's dynamically varied enough to be consistently entertaining, even while the album has something of a lumbering quality. The track quality is pretty consistent throughout as well, but sadly there aren't really any stand-out tracks, meaning it may be a little difficult to pinpoint particular favourite tracks. Also, while the tempo variations are excellent at times, around the middle of the album there's comparatively few of them, making the slow pace slightly dulled at that particular point.
While the somewhat unorthodox style of this album might potentially make it somewhat less appealing to fans of their fellow Dutch rivals, its sheer weight and often extremely catchy riffs make it something that's most definitely worth the look and yet another excellent contribution to the death metal scene.
State Of Mind
The Glorious Dead
From Ignorance To Oblivion