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Album Reviews : As Paradise Falls – Save Yourself

By on May 7, 2015

a1973034881_16Australia, in my opinion, is one of the very few countries that are a breeding ground for curb stomping, unrelenting, fist-pumping deathcore. Honestly, there are very few other regional scenes that create “good” deathcore. Bands like Thy Art Is Murder, Aversion’s Crown, and Boris The Blade have carved their way through corpses of generic copy-paste bands to become a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, most bands don’t start out with such well-thought out song structures and technical prowess. While the new EP from As Paradise Falls, entitled Save Yourself, is an earnest beginning, there is still a lot to be learned before the band can count itself as one of Australia’s elite.

The guitar work on Save Yourself is, for the most part, what you’d expect from a deathcore band. The riffs are groove oriented, with a significant number of zeroes in the tabs, accompanied by breakdowns galore and sinister guitar leads. The tone is overly twangy for a band that uses so many staples of the genre, almost as if The Acacia Strain had attempted to make an alternative country album but forgot to turn the distortion off. The main thing I noticed about the guitars and song writing in general is the occurrence of jarring transitions in almost every part of their songs. With bands like Malignant Monster proving that seamless and silky smooth changeovers between riffs are more standard than freak occurrence, this is slightly disappointing.

The drums are primarily double kick focused, and although there may be a few odd interesting cymbal variations chucked in for good measure, they’re ultimately lost in the powerful sounds of the snare and the precise but predictable double kicking.

The EP begins with “The Demon Within,” which is an apparent attempt at mimicking the great main riff from Whitechapel’s “The Saw Is the Law,” but falls short around the incessant need to insert breakdowns at every foreseeable entry point. The bridge is eerie enough and it’s always a good idea to include someone like CJ McMahon as a guest. “False Awakening” screams “do you even djent bro?” at my earholes, with stop start staccatos, abundant twangs, with a generic dissonant chord played underneath a breakdown. The highlight of the track is definitely the unsettling outro. “Only the Good” is one of the better attempts on the EP that injects some groove metal into the deathcore formula, and has a despondently glorious chorus. “Pariah” is a catchy affair leaning more towards metalcore. “Apophis” has one of the more memorable riffs among the songs, with one of the few instances where riffs don’t fall apart in between one another. “Save Yourself” almost delves into the realm of post-hardcore, then plunges back into a fast-paced beating that will leave most people satisfied.

Fans of Molotov Solution and As Blood Runs Black will be pleased with this album, but if I could I would urge the band to reanalyze the strengths and weaknesses as a band. This is a band that has shown, if briefly, an extremely promising side. The more melodic leaning of “Save Yourself” is where I see their strength. I could see a very successful and honest-to-God addictive post-metal/gothic death/doom band if they were to drop the pretenses and clichés of deathcore and focus on these incredibly cathartic, downtempo melodies. I would listen to those over and over again without the slightest hint of boredom, but they’re marred by the band clinging to the edifice of an overdone genre. Seriously guys, you have the chance to be something more than what you are now. Don’t squander the wondrous potential you possess.

About

Benjen is a qualified teacher residing in the south-east suburbs of Perth. Benjen was introduced to hard rock at the age of 12 with Papa Roach's "Love-Hate Tragedy," and has developed a love for hard rock and metal since. He also has a keen interest in gaming and almost every fandom imaginable, from Doctor Who to Deadpool. He can be followed on Twitter @thetoadmode