"Front Toward Enemy" (Metal Blade; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Fallen, having garnered success with their self-produced album, "The Tones In Which We Speak," won a contest held by Metal Blade in which the grand prize was a recording contract. "Front Toward Enemy" is the first album under that prize.

"Front Toward Enemy" is a pure metal record. In many respects, "Front Toward Enemy" is a throwback to the days when Slayer was producing uncompromising metal. The conviction and attitude heard on "The Tones In Which We Speak" explodes to even greater heights on "Front Toward Enemy."

Generally speaking, the overall pacing is slowed down just a bit - certainly slower enough to harness the power of the to-and-fro riffing and sequencing of crushing riffs against the death-thrash aggression. The vocals haven't changed much although the three-voice combination is used to greater effect in making the songs more memorable.

"Front Toward Enemy" was produced by Bill Metoyer. Metoyer, famous for his work with Fates Warning and Sacred Reich, adds just enough polish to The Fallen's sound to make it more accessible upon first listen without losing the abrasive grit that The Fallen are known for.

The Fallen is Mike Granat on lead vocals and guitar, Mark Venier on guitar and backup vocals, Bryan Klinger on bass, and Max Wolff on drums.

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"The Tones in Which We Speak" (Self-produced)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Fallen, a vibrant blend of modern metal, death metal, and thrash, unleashed "The Tones In Which We Speak" a few years ago to a near total unsuspecting metal audience. Then, after much perseverance The Fallen broke wide open in the metal scene by managing to win the Metal Search contest held by Metal Blade Records and

"The Tones In Which We Speak" is an uncompromising metal journey that has ten tracks and clocks in at 40 minutes. Ten songs in 40 minutes is a pretty brisk pace for death-thrash; however, each song has its own trajectory with the shortest being just over three-minutes long and the longest being six-and-a-half minutes. "Turning Hollow" and "To Dust" are two of my favorite tracks; both of these tracks exemplify the unique combination of styles to make The Fallen's own unique sound.

Occasionally, the lead vocalist sounds exactly what Helmet's Page Hamilton would sound like if he played in a death-thrash band instead of the arty-precision of the sound the NYC post-hardcore darlings created.

"The Tones In Which We Speak" is a loud declaration of a band with conviction, attitude, and a flair for quality music. The Fallen should appeal to a wide variety of metal fans.

"The Tones In Which We Speak" is a killer record and is ample proof that perseverance pays off. It's no surprise that Metal Blade snapped up The Fallen for a record deal. The Fallen's Metal Blade Records debut "Front Toward Enemy" was released in September 2002.

The Fallen is Mike Granat on guitar and lead vocals, Mark Venier on guitars and backing vocals, Bryan Klinger on bass and backing vocals, and Henry Higgs 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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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:21 -0400 .