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Any press release that claims “fans of Amon Amarth, Gorgoroth and Stratovarius should try this” is bound to get my attention, even moreso if the band actually deliver on this claim, and French melodic death quintet Fallen Joy certainly deliver on that promise, while delivering some catchy tunes on their début EP Order To Die, the precursor to 2012′s Inner Supremacy. Channeling the blackened spirit of Gorgoroth with Noumena-like riffs and a powerful Stratovarian base, the band only have 4 songs to work with, but they make the most of them to promote their individual style.
After a cinematic intro (“Morituri Te Salutant”) not unlike The Last Hangmen with a bell-toll and orchestral elements befitting the artwork, Fallen Joy kick off properly with the title track. We’re greeted with technical melodic leads from Jurneyd and Victor while Gul provides a blackened shriek reminiscent of Gorgoroth’s Pest on top of Rudy’s bass rumblings and Leandro on the power metal-inspired drum patterns. Victor also provides some interesting Hegg-like growls on the next track, the possibly-Alestorm-inspired “Hoisting The Black Flag” which sounds more akin to Svartsot minus the folk instruments. The remaining two tracks are lengthier affairs, the former (“Seeds Of Tyranny”) showing off an addictive tapping riff and some receded ‘spoken-scream’ and the latter a more somber affair (“Voyage Au Bout De La Nuit”), which opens with a melancholic intro and closes with a poignant French verse:
“Alors je suis tombé malade
Fiévreux, rendu fou par la peur
La meilleure des choses à faire quand on est dans ce monde
C’est d’en sortir, fou ou pas, peur ou pas”*
The lyrics on the whole are catchy, as can be heard in “Seeds Of Tyranny” (“The time has come/You are your own god, or above all of them”), but my favorite are on “Hoisting The Black Flag” where they seem more poetic: “There are those who chase glory and vanity/Despair is what they’ll find together”. They suit Gul and Victor’s voices well, and also compliment the musical style, although “Hoisting…” gets quite Amon Amarthly violent as a juxtaposition of the upbeat riff. “Voyage…” remains my favorite track both musically and lyrically; although it seems to represent a different era of the band’s work, it doesn’t seem out of place with the other songs.
In short, Fallen Joy have created a remarkable little EP of their work, a strong summary of their sound and great to listen to when in a melodeath mood. They draw from various bands, but ultimately the style is their own, and a good one at that. Fans of Noumena and Svartsot would get a kick out of Order To Die, and it’ll tide you over nicely until the full-length is released, hopefully in July.
Originally written for www.mostlymetal.wordpress.com