The Finnish melodic death metal scene is about to be enriched with the addition of BABYLONFALL, who will release their debut album “Collapse” on Friday, 24 April, via Inverse Records. The album was forged during late 2018 and early 2019 at Deep Noise Studios in Kouvola, Finland, and was recorded and mixed by Saku Moilanen. Mastering was done at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden by Tony Lindgren. Cover art was done by Finnish artist Petri Lampela.
I am of a mind to start this review by comparing “Collapse” to “Orphans” by Canadian extreme metal band THE AGONIST, simply because of how versatile the vocals and the 10 tracks are. For example, Okko Solanterä’s delivery reminds me a lot of Vicky Psarakis’ vocal work. While “Collapse” does follow the melodeath aesthetics, there is also so much more going on with the songs and the flow of the album, offering a wide array of soundscapes and moods, thus being dynamic and fluid much like “Orphans.” Starting on a traditional melodeath note with “Murder of Crows,” which features melodic guitar lines and deep growls, the album moves along at a nice pace through the slightly more melodic “Awakening” with its powerful double bass drumming and occasional clean vocals, and early highlight “Blood Will Be My Crown,” which flirts with black metal a bit as the vocals are harsher than before and the overall atmosphere is darker and gloomier, while still retaining a neat sense of melody throughout. The groove is on with “Silence,” a brutal track that surprises the listeners with some well-placed screamed vocals, which add to the variety I mentioned earlier, while the chorus is catchy and the guitar solo adds melody. The somewhat thrashy “We Become One” has a beautiful backing guitar melody that gives the song lightness and contrasts well with the harsher vocal delivery; it may remind some of PANTERA or even LAMB OF GOD.
Definite album highlights “Celestials” and “Stars And Constellations” have rather airy atmosphere and progressive meanderings to them, ebbing and flowing between mellow passages and harsher moments, especially on a vocal level, while the guitar work is very well done. These two tracks show once again that you don’t need a big wall of sound to make a good song – it’s all about structure, execution, and ambiance. As per its title, “Wrath” is just an angry song with deep, brutal growls, chugging guitars, pounding drums, and a great bass line to keep it going. “Burning Daylight” is another example of melodeath done right, with urgent guitars, loud drums, and harsh vocals. The 8-minute epic “Distant Call of Innocence” closes the album on a progressive note, with melodic guitar lines, intense vocal deliveries, and a superb guitar solo.
All-in-all, this is a solid debut album that showcases not only potential and talent, but also a very good vocalist that could really elevate this band to higher grounds. Their merger of groove metal and melodic death metal is beautifully done, with some songs leaning more towards one aspect and other songs more towards the other, which added variety and dynamism to the album structure and fluidity. Color me impressed with BABYLONFALL.
Written by Andrea Crow
- Murder Of Crows
- Blood Will Be My Crown
- We Become One
- Stars And Constellations
- Burning Daylight
- Distant Call Of Innocence
Okko Solanterä – vocals
Esa Viren – guitar
Ossi Viren – guitar
Matti Huopainen – bass
Mikko Huopainen – drums
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