My first exposure to this German outfit is a simple enough experience to recount and that is via the split LP which they have with their compatriots Heaven Shall Burn, and, since that record is several years old at this point, hearing how or if the band has changed in that time. Seeing as how The Crossfire is the first Fall of Serenity album with their former bassist handling vocal duties and a new guitarist filling in for the guitarist that switches to the bass duties, changes are surely a foregone reality, but it is fair to wonder whether or not their music has undergone a similar transformation. Being the band's fourth album, there is quite a gap in output which I have no exposure to whatsoever, and it is intriguing while worrisome at the same time.
Holy metal, seriously. Truly time does change things. The music is flat out Euro metal, and really is there any doubt that Fall of Serenity could be anything but. The vocals are very strong sounding (and without hearing the last album or so from the band it is hard to tell if this is an improvement or not, but rest assured, the new vocals do not hinder the band in any way) with the occasional raspy "clean" vocal that adds a bit of dynamics without being cheesy sounding (see bits of "Act of Grace", "Immortal Kingdom", and "Recreation"). "The Crossfire" does contain some wicked drum parts that backs up the band incredibly well and plays a large part in keeping the momentum in the song's arrangement, and the first guitar solo matches the drummer's pattern pretty well. The vocals and strange guitar harmonies work well together in "Funeral Eclipse" and make the song work.
If Euro metal is your deal than look no further for such a cleanly executed example such as Fall of Serenity. The guitar sound is consistent and pushes the compositions, now if only they could get rid of the drum triggers as there is an excessive amount of clicking noises on the drums throughout the album (sorry I have a real dislike for drum triggers). One aspect of The Crossfire of which takes away from the album is the lengthy songs (for Euro metal anyway), but somehow these long-ish tracks still keep the energy level high which conversely keeps the record interesting. Still, some editing - particularly the overuse of the guitar solo - in the arrangements could strengthen the songs even more. However, let us not kid ourselves; this is still Euro metal which is quickly going the way of American metalcore, and there is only so much room for these types of bands (unless like I said, you are into Euro metal) in a novice's collection and only so much patience to mete out to the sounds (when the amps are on 11 the whole time the brutality level inversely drops) on these records regularly. Good show though for the type of music they play.
5.6 / 10
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