In the year 2002 I had some sort of revelation: “Frailty“. Melodic Death Metal had a new shining star, together with OMNIUM GATHERUM and MORS PRINCIPIUM EST there was another band that gave this dying sub genre a healthy kick in the butt and put it back onto the Metal map: THE DUSKFALL.
Even though has not been that long, to me it was almost half an eternity until I got fresh material from the Swedes, here it is now, titled “Source”, the guys stay true to their “short album title” rule. The info describes the styles as “Death’n’Roll – Melodic Death Metal“. Just like Thomas I am still searching for the “N’Roll“ part, Melodic Death Metal it had been on “Frailty” and Melodic Death Metal it still is on “Source”.
Now it usually is difficult to follow up such a strong debut in style, this also had been my fear with THE DUSKFALL, the fear that they could not be able to keep it up. So, something has changed, this is not “Frailty Part 2” (even though with the quality I could have lived with that), but an album that shows an evolution, but without turning their back on their strengths.
One of the difference lies in the riffing, which has turned even more melodic, the comparison to old IN FLAMES cannot really be put off that they are closer to “Clayman“ now, I can only agree on in the melody of the riffs in some songs, other than that I’d rather go with GATES OF ISHTAR, the predecessor of THE DUSKFALL, just furthered. That the riffs at times have some more melody and are less heavy might make some of you fear that THE DUSKFALL had somehow lost some of their intensity, but no, don’t worry, the guys still have enough energy to keep a small town lit up on their own.
The driving, fast cracking opener “Case Closed“ right away is a good example, the Swedes give you a new hairdo by the music alone, with a primordial power, great guitars, strong melodies and a damn tight drumming that you would like to join the drum rights group the way that Oskar Karlsson gets at them. The following „Striving To Have Nothing“ then shows the more melodic side of THE DUSKFALL, but Kai Jaakkola still roars as before, so no clean vocals in site and his aggressive voice also fits the music of the Lulea-based quintet very well.
And after “Frailty“ had an absolutely outstanding track with “Agoraphobic“, we here have the title track that stands out, with great drive, cool melodies, good guitars, mid-paced, not as brilliant as “Agoraphobic”, but still damn entertaining! And after “Not A Good Sign” reduces the heaviness a bit again, “Lead Astray” ploughs through the botany, if needed also through the wall, this song presses through the speakers, plus again strong melodies, this is how energetic Melodic Death” should sound hell yes! Leaves “The Destroyer” and this song keeps what the title promises, maybe the heaviest song that THE DUSKFALL have penned so far, short, but hefty and before you notice, “Source” is over.
It does not reach „Frailty“, for that the album altogether is not fresh and gripping enough anymore, even though it will gain momentum after a few spins, still THE DUSKFALL also have managed a really good album with their second effort, which might give Melodic Death Metal a few extra impulses again, with this album and this band you definitely cannot do anything wrong :) (Online February 22, 2004)