Review Summary: If you're going to play Metalcore. Do it like this.
What can be said about Dead To Fall's last, and final, offering "Are You Serious?". Only one thing. They're not serious. At all. making this one of the best, and most fun, releases in the Metalcore genre in a really long time.
The album starts with "IQ Test". A surreal intro that sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of a really bad science fiction movie with a voice telling us to "Relax. Focus on the arpeggios". This false sense of security is crushed by the powerhouse of the record "Stupid?". Probably the most hilarious track these guys have ever written right next to "Chum Fiesta" (which is even referenced in this song), it thrashes, blasts, is ***ing fast and is pretty much followed riff for riff by the lyrics which state: "I've got a really original idea of how I think we should end this song. End this song... with a ***ing break down!". And yes, they end the song with a break down... but it kicks you in the face and, surprisingly, isn't a chug fest.
The tongue in cheek aspect is apparent with song titles like "The Future", "Loch Ness", "Sleeping Bag", and "Cropgrower". Although the lyrics are light hearted and satirical, there's nothing funny about the production values or the song writing improving dramatically since their previous opus "The Phoenix Throne" , playing fast paced arrangements, flowing in and out of riffs like snakes with no sudden stops or choppy riffing. The writing has taken a more Thrash feel to it. Jon Hunt's vocals are absolutely terrifying even though what he's screaming isn't i.e. "We were all outside smoking trees.".
Which brings me to the other heavy weight of "Are You Serious?", the ridiculous party anthem "Major Rager". Instead of trying to be as "brutal" or "Metal" as possible with their lyrics, they left it up to the music. Meaning Jon Hunt wasn't sitting around trying to come up with something that's been done a thousand times already but say it in a different way. Therefore he started writing about his interests instead of somebody else's and in turn you get songs about keggers. "Major Rager" probably has some of the best lines of this entire record. The track chronicles a party being thrown at a teenager's house while his Mom is out of town and includes revelations such as "*** it! I'm way too drunk. So let's all do another shot!", "Let's get another case and stay up all ***ing night!", and a soliloquy in which he decides to throw everyone out: "Listen up! Every single one of you kids, listen up! This party is out of ***ing control! My Mom is gonna kill me when she gets home! Are you serious? What the ***!". But no need to fear, he later claims it as the "best night of my life".
Dead To Fall has since disbanded due to financial issues and artistic differences but it seemed as if they were heading in a more experimental direction with songs like "Loch Ness" and "The Future". The prior is the most laid back song Dead To Fall have constructed and is almost like an homage to Stoner or Doom Metal. The latter features heavy use of electronics and strange vocal effects but still remains in the vein of their older material until the "sonic mechanical warfare" starts, the song ending on that humorous note.
I don't have much more to say (as if I haven't said enough already), so in conclusion, this album is the way Metal is supposed to be played. I'm not serious. But it is a brilliant Metalcore album and the best swan song a band like Dead To Fall could have. It's a release that mocks itself while doing so with deadly accuracy. The songs are silly, the keg is tapped, the music is insane and... there's a hell of a lot of break downs so the trip is definitely worth taking.
END THIS REVIEW... WITH A FUCKING BREAKDOWN!
Highlights: Stupid?, Major Rager, The Future, Sleeping Bag