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Almost there but not quite - 84%

Writhingchaos, January 24th, 2016

Ahh melodeath! After Bloodshot Dawn’s sophomore triumph Demons, The Fall Of Therenia brings more of the epic quotient to the forefront. You have the top two melodeath albums of 2014 right here. The album opens with the title track and what an opener it is indeed! The double bass work is simply remarkable and what’s more, there’s a slight touch of the keys to enhance the spacey feel of the music. The really epic feel of the album kicks in by the next song “The Revenant”. And no, I haven’t seen the movie yet. Kill me already. Check out that technical break at 5:12 followed by a mellow acoustic section. Whoops almost punched a hole in my laptop screen there. The slow and fast sections throughout the music interact like a well-oiled machine in spite of the song going on for a bit too long.

“As We Light Up The Sky” and “Reality Unfolds” too suffer from this problem. However the latter is quite the prog leviathan, opening with some symphonics followed by some face stomping riffs whilst you remember the long bygone era of melodeath back in the 90s. You can most certainly see the subtle Opeth influence in this song by the interaction between the acoustic sections and the manic rifforama. This is true progressive melodeath folks. Once again I have to repeat myself but yeah, the song does drag on a little too long for its own good. Check out the soaring solo at 10:42 though. The one minute outro is quite useless if you ask me; sounds more tacked on rather than being an actual part of the song.

“Guardians Of The Gates” has a face-ripping solo towards the end. The breakdown at 3:34 on “City Of Stone” reminds me of The Arcane Order for some strange reason. Maybe it’s the doomy melodeath feel. If you want the more brutal side of melodeath, "Broken Beauty" and "Warden Of Eons" will suit you just fine. However the highlight of the album is "Landfall" with mournful melodic licks to die for and the almost perfect marriage of brutality and melody. Seriously try headbanging to this song without wrecking your neck at least a little bit. That’s an open challenge right there. There’s even an oh-so-sublime touch of piano around 6:00 with the guitars harmoniously blazing away followed by the end of the song with the piano slowly fading out. Hands down the best song on the album. If you have to listen to one song by these guys, make sure it’s this one.

However the album kinda enters partial cheeseland with the brooding ballad and hiccup “Regret And Eternal Sorrow”. Not that it’s a bad song as such, but it doesn’t really fit in with the fast pace of the other songs plus it throws the balance of the album off. Honestly, the album would’ve been better off without this song.

Although I’d admit, in spite of the fact that I didn’t enjoy this as much as Bloodshot Dawn’s Demons plus the album could’ve done with some fine-tuning, this is definitely one of the best melodeath albums I have heard in a while. At an hour plus, this album is almost too much to take at once sitting and some of the songs sound a bit too similar to one another. They need to cut out the flab and fine-tune their progressive leanings a bit more, and by the next album they might have a true masterpiece on their hands. Melodeath fans, if you’ve even bothered reading the review you already know what to do.

Standout tracks: The Revenant, The Fall Of Therenia, Landfall, City Of Stone