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Dead to Fall: The Phoenix Throne

Dead to Fall's third album The Phoenix Throne sees the band take a shift towards a more technical thrash style. Not that the hardcore styled vocals and Swedish death metal breakdowns aren't still present (the basis for the metalcore foundation) but the band has injected a heaping dose of tricky, melodic guitar solos this time around, as well as a multitude of complex and progressive thrash metal riffs. Guitarists Logan Kelly and Aaron Nelson prove to be extremely skilled players (well yeah, we knew this!) as they take the listener through miles of scorching riffs and blinding yet wonderfully melodic guitar solos. Songs like "Servent of Sorrow", "Womb Portals", and "Smoke and Mirrors" contain a never ending montage of churning and weaving riff-o-rama interlaced with plenty of tasty leads, while the rhythm section of bassist Chad Fjerstad and drummer Tim Java pound away mercilessly. Lead vocalist Jonathan Hunt still has that gruff hardcore shout, as he adds plenty of menace and fury to songs such as "Chum Fiesta" and the doom riddled "Guillotine Dream". He doesn't change his delivery much, but thankfully he doesn't need to as the music of Dead to Fall keeps you guessing constantly.

"Doomed to Failure" is one hell of a barnburner, with manic riffs constantly boiling and churning and the drum work of Java truly mesmerizing the listener. This is easily one of the more complex pieces on the album. The instrumental "Corpse Collector" mixes complex yet doomy guitar riffs with stacatto drumming, and "Death & Rebirth" features a guest appearance by Symphony X's Michael Romeo, who adds some orchestrations to the end of this otherwise brutal thrash piece, giving the finale an epic feel.

The Phoenix Throne has a gorgeous booklet design from Paul Romano, who has also worked with Mastodon among others. Add in top notch production from Eric Rachel and you have an overall great package which will certainly be among the year's best metal releases.

Track Listing
1. All My Heros have Failed Me
2. Womb Portals
3. Smoke & Mirrors
4. Servent Of Sorrow
5. Chum Fiesta
6. Guillotine Dream
7. Doomed To Failure
8. Corpse Collector
9. The Reptile Lord
10. Death & Rebirth

Added: June 8th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Dead to Fall Website
Hits: 2270
Language: english

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