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| 28 February 2013 | Reply


Label: Victory Records

Release Date: January 22, 2013

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Mike Hubbard

From Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in the scenic foothills of the Canadian Rockies, comes hardcore quintet Fall City Fall, amongst the latest signees to Victory Records. Fall City Fall released their debut full length in the US on January 22, 2013. Titled Victus, this release was highly anticipated given the strong showing of their debut EP.

The five members of Fall City Fall consist of vocalists Nathan Zorn and Keenan Pylychaty, Jordon Storey on guitar, and a rhythm section of Nathan Pope on drums and bass player Andre Urquidi. The dual vocalist setup is not your typical clean/screamer combo, but rather Zorn and Pylychaty both providing their own unique growls. At times this seems redundant, but overall they pull off this unorthodox vocal pairing.

Victus clocks in at a mere 29 minutes in length, and the time giving it a listen goes by quickly. And when I say it goes by quickly I mean that as a compliment, as every one of the 11 songs hold your attention, and after 29 minutes you’ll want more.

From the opening number, “St. James,” one can tell that this is not going to be your cookie-cutter screamo record. The first vocals you hear are reminiscent of The Chariot’s Josh Scogin’s painful howl. It then segues seamlessly into the second song “Dissentipede,” which transitions into a mathcore-inspired guitar riff which would fit right in on a recording from The Dillinger Escape Plan.

The album continues this way, mixing in elements of the more innovative acts in the hardcore scene. Further examples are found in “Lovebirds,” where the vocals remind one of Everytime I Die’s Keith Buckley’s shouts, and in the instrumental “Many Lives,” which features a haunting guitar line that might make you think you are listening to a latter day Thrice track.

The two songs “Shallow Believer” and “Dead Saints” really are better viewed as a single song, as evident in the opening line of “Shallow Believers:” ‘Dead saints, shallow believers. All fakes, the best deceivers. No love for the broken hearted. Just a broken road for the dear and departed.’ “Shallow Believer” starts as a frantic punk rocker ala Gallows and then morphs into Chariot-like chaos. “Dead Saints” also comes off as Chariot-inspired musically, although the lyrics show a depth of despair unlike anything ever done by them.

The next number, “Taken,” is probably one of the best uses of the dual screaming vocalists. It opens with a slow, pulsing guitar line, and then explodes with the vocals calling back and forth in a spoken shout, with each line building on the previous one, climaxing with ‘Everyone is wrong, everything is lost.’  Not exactly a toe-tapping tune to put a smile on your face, but one that will haunt you for some time after listening to it.

The album closes out with the title track, “Victus,” and it closes strong. As opposed to the desperation and despair emanating from the previous track, “Victus” ends on a high note, shouting ‘I will, I will overcome. Forgive all the things we have done. We will, we will overcome. We will rise with the strength of the sun.’ Musically Fall City Fall throws just about everything at the closing number, from a straight head-banging opening to a 6/8 time closing.

Overall, Victus is a strong showing from newcomers Fall City Fall. They blend a number of elements from many of the most innovative and influential bands in the hardcore genre in a way that is fresh. They are also quickly gaining a reputation as a must-see live act. Given the strong material in Victus and their growing following as a live band things are looking up for this band from Alberta.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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