Fallen Fate - Into the Black - (7.5/10)
Published on January 29, 2014
Genre:Melodic Death / Thrash
Back in what now seems a bygone age, being an independent band meant being relegated to less than stellar production materials, often resulting in something akin to a live performance in a small garage. But the advent of mass digital technology has now made such outcomes more of a niche market for a fringe group of metal purveyors of primitivism, whereas the line separating a major label backed act and a home-grown one quite blurred. Such is the enviable predicament of the UK’s own Fallen Fate, a band that also manages to blur the lines separating thrash and melodic death metal, despite their self-proclaimed style being exclusively the former.
While this outfit is by no means newcomers to the field, for many they may as well be given their exclusively independent ventures, culminating in one EP and a debut album preceding Into The Black, Fallen Fate’s recently birthed sophomore effort. As such, their thrash metal label might be a little deceptive given their heavy similarities to a number of modern death metal acts such as Septic Flesh, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow and Omnium Gatherum, though the overall character of each song lends itself heavily to a thrashing variant on said style in line with Kalmah, though with a lighter keyboard/orchestral element.
Opening up on a somewhat somber, somewhat creepy ballad instrumental note, this album listens almost like a conceptual work with heavily recurring themes. This is largely due to the stylistic devices in play being strongly formulaic, almost as if trying to distill the disconnect between extreme and melodic metal to create something just a tad bit more dangerous than a standard Gothenburg album, yet equally as accessible. Vocalist Lee Skinner definitely takes some clear hints from both Tomas Lindberg and Mikael Stanne with his agonizing growls, which are largely one-dimensional and further feed the late 90s character of this album. In truth, the only thing that keeps this from being outright Slaughter Of The Soul worship with a side order of Finnish symphonic additives is that it’s just a tad bit less technical.
For a band that seems a bit averse to label distribution, Fallen Fate have definitely found an angle in the current metal scene that isn’t too far off from a lot of better known acts, including the larger than life production character. Just the film score character of the orchestral ending of “Possession” is enough to put them into a similar league as Septic Flesh, though these Brits still fall a little bit short on contrasting their metallic ideas enough to keep from getting repetitive. At the same time, it’s also a catchy and easy to digest effort that will definitely play well with most adherents to the lighter side of death metal, and there is definitely a healthy amount of potential for future endeavors to be built on.