Trousers – no, hats off for this excellent debut…
Released on 29 April 2016 and totally enjoyed by Angie “never exaggerates, honest” K
If I say that my jaw dropped to the floor when I heard this, I wouldn’t even be exaggerating. Seriously. I do like my power metal and didn’t think anything could surprise me. Well, could I be more wrong! Two things made me raise an eyebrow.
Fact No 1: They are Scottish – not too typical, as their music ticks all the boxes of the well loved power metal genre, widely spread across good old Europe. Fall Before The Dawn is written and performed in the best traditions of Halloween, Gamma Ray, HammerFall and Blind Guardian. What Farseer bring to us is a delicious amalgamation of strong beat (power is the key word here, think drums, drums, drums, as well as virtuoso riffs with the speed of light!), “7-string metal guitar assault” (as described by the band themselves), distinctive catchy tunes and soaring, immaculate, admirable lead vocal.
Fact No 2: This is their debut album. Mind boggles! If this is how they enter the heavy metal record industry, it’d be interesting to toy with the idea of how big they could make it. Let’s just hope that they have ambitious management on board, as well as the luck to break through. Fingers crossed, guys!
After the short and amusing medieval tavern intro with clunks of drinks and jolly chatter, it only takes a couple of minutes into the first (“proper”) track, ‘Luck of the Joker’, to realise: this band is good, pretty damn good! They do deliver traditional, high quality power metal, and still manage to keep the listener interested. The signature of the genre, that intriguing way of changing pace, introducing the odd lyrical intermission, accompanied by the consistently soaring vocals, shines through tracks such as ‘Way Of The World’ and ‘Echo In Time’. Epic songs like ‘Drag Down The Sinners’ and ‘Second Strike’ (especially the latter one with duration nearly 8 minutes) makes me wonder, could this be the new Maiden? Halfway into the track, it changes rhythm and becomes even more epic, with blazing guitar solos, background chorus and subtle classical hint. I would think that speedy riffs like these would make even Mr Malmsteen keen on taking credit for.
And, as much as the album fits into the box of this genre, it does not bore you, not a single bit. Farseer pull all the expected tricks out of their hat, and somehow you don’t mind – simply because they do it in this elegant, very tasteful way: from the opening aggressive shout and steady rhythm in ‘Nightmares Collide’; through the deceivingly lyrical start in ‘Chthonic Vision’ followed by a vocal and drum assault, still perfectly melodic, to the speedy start of ‘To Play The Game’ – a subtle reminiscence of Halford and Judas Priest. And, having mentioned the Priest, the only ballad in Fall Before The Dawn, ‘Everytime’, can easily be compared with their best ballads: lyrical, crystal clear and epic. What more can I say: perfect debut. Hat off!
9 out of 10
- Jack O’ The Shadows
- Luck of the Joker
- Way Of The World
- Drag Down The Sinners
- Echo In Time
- Nightmares Colide
- Second Strike
- To Play The Game
- Chthonic Vision
- Fall Before The Dawn