"Are You Serious?" (Victory Records; 2008)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Midwestern metalcore troupe Dead to Fall's latest disc is also the band's swan song release thanks to a recent un-amicable split. At least "Are You Serious?" is a proper send-off, if nothing else, thanks to "Stupid," the squad's not-so-secret condemnation (especially lyrically) of the banality of the genre's conventions, even going so far as to mimic the color by numbers "formula" that enslaves so many bands through a vocal/instrumental call in response with tongue firmly in cheek.

Taking an off-kilter approach to brutish metal that falls somewhere between the savage technicalities of The Red Chord and Darkest Hour, this group's volatile moments stand tall amongst the elite on cuts like "Major Rager" and "Robo-Destro."

Even though Dead to Fall bites the metalcore hand that has fed them in the past here, they do so with a respectable array of pummeling riffs and a wry sense of humor that helps the more atmospheric moments of "Loch Ness" and "Astral Projection/ Dream J(ourney)" go down smoother. 

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"Everything I Touch Falls to Pieces" (Victory Records; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

After listening to "Everything I Touch Falls To Pieces" itís clear to me that Dead To Fall is definitely a hardcore band. However, with a multitude of modern metal influences - including the burgeoning Americanized melodic death metal sound and style - Dead To Fall create a sound that is familiar yet fresh.

As most Rough Edge readers know I am not exactly the biggest fan of hardcore. However, the strain of hardcore that has evolved over the last few years that incorporates metallic influences (while still managing to not get lumped in with the metal-core trend) is becoming more and more impressive. Dead To Fall are the latest group to impress me in a sting of bands that includes Darkest Hour and Atreyu to name just a couple.

"Everything I Touch Falls To Pieces" is Dead To Fall's debut - and an impressive debut it is. Vocalist Hunt growls and shrieks his way through the nine tracks that feature vocals (there are two instrumentals on the album). Guitarists Lear and Nichols provide a dual six-string attack not heard of since the early days of melodic Swedish death metal. Bassist Jakimiak and drummer Craig easily combine the best of hardcoreís pounding intensity and melodic death metalís ferocious energy into a solid foundation for the bandís exploits. Aside from the influences mentioned earlier, ďMemoryĒ features droning lead guitar enhancements made popular by Machine Head in the late '90s - this is another interesting facet of the band's sound that should be incorporated more in the band's future work if I might say so myself.

Like most hardcore bands, Dead To Fall has impressive lyrics that are lacking in most metal bands. "Memory," the track that has the lyric that provides the album's title, deals with the careless manner in which some people approach their relationships. Selfishness gets a whipping on "Like A Bullet" and failure to decide in one's best interests is the lasting message of "Cost Of A Good Impression." "Preying On The Helpless" deals with child molesters which is a topic that unfortunately is in the news more than it should be. Somehow, on a few tracks at least, the strength of the individual to persevere shines through like a beacon despite the decaying carnage of modern life.

"Graven Image," the impressive contribution to Victory Records' "Victory Style 5" compilation, is included on the album. 

Dead To Fall's "Everything I Touch Falls To Pieces" is certainly one of my more favorite Victory Record releases. 

"Everything I Touch Falls To Pieces" was produced by Dead To Fall and Barry Poynter. Anytime a young band produces their own material you simply understand that they know exactly what they want - it "sounds" like they got what they wanted. Poynter's expert assistance solidified the album's impact which is no surprise as I am familiar with his impressive work on Living Sacrifice's efforts.

Dead To Fall: Jonathan Hunt on vocals, Bryan Lear and Seth Nichols on guitars, Justin Jakimiak on bass, and Dan Craig on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:30 -0400 .