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A nice idea, but forgettable - 76%

PorcupineOfDoom, April 6th, 2015

Asa-Noir started off as a pagan black metal band, but somehow ended up playing symphonic melodic death metal topped off with some folk and industrial elements. How they got there is beyond me, but their debut album Fall of the Idols is not a bad creation. Naturally when many genres are fused together things are more likely to go wrong, but Asa-Noir manage to put everything together in a convincing manner, albeit a rather unspectacular one.

I think that the main feature of the band is meant to be the melodeath, but to be completely honest the guitars sound more industrial then anything else. The only time that the melodeath even seems to come into the music at all is in the random sections where hooks just start to fly from the guitars for no real reason. Some of the riffing is done exceptionally well, but at others the guitars resort to a strange kind of chugging where they sound like they're almost struggling to keep in time. It's all a little bit inconsistent.

The keyboards are at the very forefront of the band, easily beating out the guitars, the vocals and the drums to be the most noticeable presence. They're quite spectacular and they exaggerate everything else, giving a haunting feeling to the rest of the band. The only problem with this is that it crosses the line and goes too far at times, and you almost forget that you're listening to a metal album. With a style like in Children of Bodom or Fear of Domination then use of keyboards at the front of the band works, but here the style is more suited to play subtly in the background. Therefore everything seems out of place and feels kind of strange.

The vocals as well are something that I can't decide on. They're halfway between clean and unclean, sometimes turning into a shout but mostly staying as just an extremely gritty clean. At times I think that they're good, but they don't always compliment the rest of the band and once you get twenty or thirty minutes into the album you realise that you won't hear anything that you haven't heard him do before.

Asa-Noir are definitely a band with potential, but on Fall of the Idols I don't think that they lived up to it completely. The main issue is a lack of spectacular moments, and everything is a little dry. The unique style wears off after a while when everything sounds the same, and although there are occasionally interesting moments for the most part the band follow the same pattern for the whole forty plus minutes that the album runs for. Having said that, I'm interested to hear what they come up with next time though and I do think that they have the ability to make something great out of it.