DEAD TO FALL - Villainy & Virtue

Dead To Fall - Villainy & Virtue

10 songs
31:18 minutes
***** *


More than two years ago, I was totally enchanted by the debut album of Chicago metal core meets death metal band Dead To Fall, so I was looking forward with suspense to their new album Villainy & Virtue. Already the aesthetically stimulating cover artwork made me expect more than the CD could eventually fulfil. I wouldn't even say that this is a bad album, it just seems that in the two years between their albums, so much has been happening, with metal core always looking for new niches, and more often than not succeeding, that Dead To Fall's rather traditional death metal core doesn't work that well anymore.

The production is not bad at all though, I especially like the heavily pumping bass guitar, reminding me of the primitive but effective playing of Danny Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, S.O.D.). The guitars sound more Swedish than should be allowed in the United States, and the vocals are a nice crossection between hardcore aggression and death metal growls. What we need now would be good songs, and although nothing is bad or even average, the initial spark never seems to come. Dead To Fall are best when they play short, straight songs, like Stand Your Ground or the mathily beginning Master Exploder. Their longer songs (Bastard Set Of Dreams, Blood Of The Moon) head into a more metal direction, showing that opening slots for death metal bands left their impression.

Normally this would now have been a good seven points rating, but the combination of a short running time and a lack of really convincing song material leaves me with a stale taste and therefore only six points, although I guess that there is certainly some hidden potential waiting to be awakened sometime soon.

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