Review Summary: One of the best heavy metal debuts in years.
It’s been a very long time since we’ve heard a heavy metal record debut that just didn’t suck. Not saying that there weren’t any good metal albums that have been recently released, but there have been some very terrible metal artists in recent years. Whether its metalcore, melodic death metal, or any other sub-genre that you can think of, there have been some very bad beginning albums out there within at least the past five years. “Ready, Set, Fall!” is an interesting case simply because they not only seem to have made enjoyable metal, but they’ve seemed to have created an album that brings out music that people haven’t been able to enjoy immensely for years. For so long people have been listening to typical mainstream metal that consist of the same thing over and over again; bad lyrics, terrible vocals, and a lack of energy. But here, “Ready, Set, Fall!” has created Memento
. To simply put it, it’s metal that doesn’t focus on how popular it gets, or how catchy it is, or any of that crap that music lovers had to put up with for the last decade.
I’m not saying that “Ready, Set, Fall!” is the next groundbreaking metal band that will recreate music as we know it, nor am I say that they’re original. I’m saying that Memento
doesn’t follow the typical mainstream bullcrap that we’ve been forced to listen to for years. And to be fairly honest, it is a big deal. Here is another band where you don’t have to say, “Oh crap, these guys again.” You actually want to listen to them, whether it’s the just one song or the whole album, you actually want to listen to it rather than skip it to something else on your Pandora account. How is it likable exactly? Well for starters, it doesn’t rely on catchiness or polished vocals. Much of the instrumentation is raw, not entirely mixed in with electronics or sound effects. And if there is some of that mixing, it doesn’t overpower it. The production is laid-back, not destroying the energy that the music gives out. While the sound itself is nothing we’ve ever heard of before, it is well done. Vocalist Christopher Volpi does a great job throughout the whole album and his voice doesn’t strain nor do the screams feel forced. The sound and style of “Ready, Set, Fall!” does have some of the obvious influences of Killswitch Engage, Soilwork, and In Flames, but to be fair, they aren’t bad choices. The guitar riffs are heavy and tuned down to that typical Killswitch Engage sound, the growls have the obvious In Flames tone to them, and the cleaner vocals has a nu-metal sound to it, somewhat similar to that of Soilwork (even if Soilwork isn’t a nu-metal band).
As for the songs, it’s pretty obvious that the strongest ones are those that the band has released before. Skyscrapers
, one of the very first songs the band released, is definitely one of the best songs on here. Full of excellently executed riffs and fantastic vocal work, it’s works as one of the highlights of the album. Buried Alive
is another highlight, bringing in short, aggressive riffs and a catchy chorus that never feels completely forced while Labyrinth
contains similar elements but includes a mix of heavy and clean vocals within that is very well balanced. As for the newer songs, Honor
and the title track are probably the better songs to choose, containing heavy and catchy riffs along with its melodic chorus and is lyrically intriguing. The Temple is Me
is the first song that the band ever released and is vastly improved since it first came out four years ago. The vocals feel more comfortable and the guitars feel vastly stronger than the songs 2010 counterpart, so it’s most likely going to be a favorite of older fans.
If there is anything major to condemn, it’s that “Ready, Set, Fall!” doesn’t take time to slow down, making the whole album have some monotony to it. There are a couple instances where it does take some time, such as in A.N.S.I.A (Another Night Sinking In Anxiety)
on a certain part a little bit before the two-minute mark where there is some sound-effect mix in with guitars that lasts for about forty-or-so seconds. Even so, this part in particular feels rather unnecessary since the song itself is one of the heaviest in the whole album. The only other instance is the final song Sincerely, Mine
being a much more mellow song and has a slightly dark tone to it. If anything, this song in particular is the only song that I’d say that you should skip. It’s not particularly deep, the clean vocals sound like the Beatles, and the screams are rather unnecessary as well. It just doesn’t fit.
While “Ready, Set, Fall” isn’t exactly original, they are a type of band that doesn’t fall into the clichéd category. There isn’t really anything in here that isn’t overused, lyrically and instrumentally, and the overall quality of the music itself is rather excellent. Putting the rather dumb name aside, “Ready, Set, Fall!” may not exactly be for every metal head out there. If you can get past the unoriginality, then there is something here for you. If not, well then, try and find something else. If anything, this Italian metalcore band definitely does have potential to become even better than they are now. Overall, Memento
isn't only a very solid debut record, but also a solid heavy metal record in general.
The Temple is Me