This isn't my first encounter with Belgium thrashers Always Fallen, but now it's time to check out their 2nd full-length album The Age Of Rivalry. The quintet kicks off with You Carved My Name, a melodic thrasher with a catchy edge. Personally I like the clean vocals of Kenny Devos a lot. At Unshackled they take different road, this track has some groove metal and metalcore elements. Anyway, it's well done.
The title track The Age Of Rivalry opens with a power metal-like part, but offers some groove metal parts, too. With Left For Dead they present a heavier track with more aggressive riffs and vocals, but clean, catchy backings. They speed up for Anunnaki, a track with twists and turns. With Crucifiction Of The Poor they present another catchy tune based on heavy riffs and spiced up with breaks.
If you like thrash peppered with other sounds, then check out Always Fallen! Open-minded metal fans shall give it a try, too. Looking forward to hear more from Always Fallen!
The Belgium thrashers signed with Mausoleum Records and present with Reflection their full-length debut - they had a self-released MCD called See My Blood. And these songs made it onto Reflection! A good decision, coz so more metal fans can enjoy these tunes.
The opener is called Death Comes Down, a fast, riff-based thrasher with clean vocals and growls. On See My Blood they already combined 80's thrash with modern elements and used varying vocals, so they just refined it. At Hail To Fire - previously released on See My Blood - singer Kenny Devos adds powerful clean vocals and deep growls. The song is a thrash attack - aggressive, fast and mean. Mid-paced passages on Into Your Mothers Eyes make the song differ... more intense. Thanks to producer Xavier Carion the songs are powerful and well balanced, you can hear everybody instrument nice and clear. The former Channel Zero guitarist knew what kind of sound the youngsters needed. With Prophecy you get another old tune and here the influence of 80's Metallica is still audible. And shows that the band moved on, coz the new tunes don't show this reminiscences so clearly. Even if Back Where I Belong does a bit... They slow down for this one, and offer a more balladesque tune with a dash of Metallica. But it's heavy, guitar-driven and towards the end they pick up speed. Morality shows them more melodic, but still heavy. Especially Devos' vocals are melodic and smooth the galloping riffs. Lead guitarist Jens Patteeuw gets some space to show off skills in a short solo. He can shine while drummer Thibault Coosemans, bassist Pieter Nyckees and rhythm guitarist Mike Wage deliver the playground. For Temple Of Ruins they storm off and the gang shouts remind me a bit of Anthrax.... The song has also a punky attitude. But then a break and they slow down, the song has a different atmosphere - til they storm off again. Live this one will be a lot of fun! At No Mercy the Metallica references are audible again, but they mix it with modern sounds and growls. And so it's just a facet of the Always Fallen sound. Great guitar play. The refrain is catchy and you'll soon find yourself singing along! The closer is Ra'ad, an instrumental tune which leads you out of Reflection. Always Fallen's Reflection isn't just interesting for thrashers! If you like riff-based metal, then check out the album. With Always Fallen and After All Belgium has two very good bands who should bring Belgium metal back into the public eye!
Always Fallen are from Belgium and was founded in summer 2005. A few months later they found a stable line-up and did their first demo in February 2007. The guys played a lot live and been in the Belgium finals of Wacken Open-Air Metal Battle in 2007 and 2008!
The title track is also the opener and offers some thrash metal with heavy riffing which reminds me slightly of Metallica in the late 80's... Singer Kenny Devos has something unique in his voice.... His vocals are very powerful. The vocal line is melodic and the refrain catchy. But the quintet has a modern sound and is offering more then just 80's thrash! Especially towards the end they add some new sound elements. With Hail To Fire they push down the accelerator! And add some rawness to their sound. The track is more based in modern thrash metal and Kenny Devos switches between clean vocals and growls. The refrain reminds me again a bit of old Metallica, but as they been the top band in the late 80's thrash scene it isn't a bad thing. And it's only a fragment of the Always Fallen sound. The Prophecy is the last track on the MCD and another fast one! But this one also offers mid-paced parts and again great melody lines. If you want to get an idea, go to their MySpace - www.myspace.com/alwaysfallenmetal - and listen to some tracks!
The Belgium youngsters manage to combine thrashy riffs with melody. The songs cite 80's thrash metal as well as modern thrash and find a good balance between rawness and catchy lines. I doubt that it will take long til they sign the dotted line!