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Slumber - Fallout - 100%

Silicon Messiah, April 16th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Karmageddon Media

Someone gave me a tip about this album not long ago. Or rather, the opening masterpiece ‘Rapture’, which was enough to hook me in and look up the entire thing. These Swedish guys recorded a few demos, leading up to one full length effort, before subtly transforming into the less metallic Atoma, a likewise capable band but with slightly less captivating outputs. Slumber’s Fallout being graced with a 95% average on the Metal Archives might seem an exaggeration, but it really is not. It’s one of those albums which basically are simply perfect, or with flaws so small they seem non-existent. Really, the biggest flaw I can find is its relatively short runtime, as the entire thing clocks in at 37 minutes and at only seven tracks. And not even that is even bad, as it leaves no time for bullshit or for a single minute of filler. Every minute is justified.

Captivating from moment one with the mind blowing ‘Rapture’, this album quickly delves into deeper territories of your brain as it mashes out some of the best melodic doom entranced with heavy death metal elements that this world has ever seen. The haunting atmosphere set by Ehsan Kalantarpour’s keyboards, coupled with the lead guitar work of Markus Hill and Jari Lindholm (by the way, if you like this - and you will - I strongly recommend checking out Lindholm’s ongoing project, Enshine), as well as the riffs that encompass most every song - perhaps mostly on opener ‘Rapture’ or the brooding ‘When Nothing Was Left’ - make for some truly entrancing moments in the cosmic darkness that envelops this album. In keeping with the doom-y atmosphere, the music on here is slow and heavy with no real moments for speed or showing off. Instead, the atmosphere is in highest priority.

Chills run up my spine during the slow interlude in title track ‘Fallout’, where a guitar plays alongside a solemn wind chime, then slowly leads into an epic sounding guitar solo. Enter the magnificent vocals of Siavosh Bigonah, and the hair stands all over my body as he fills the darkness with growls so potent in delivery, and so emotive in intonation, that his every word must surely be brought from the depths of the human subconscious, darkly poetic and invoking a sense that your own innermost thoughts have been read and put to words. There is literally no aspect of this album which is not good, and it does no good for me to pick out everything about it that I love, because this review would be very long. In short, this is the perfect doom and death metal hybrid, and it’s a damn shame that the world won’t see a follow up to this album. When closing track ‘A Wanderer’s Star’, with its exceptional twin guitar work and epicly monstrous feel, fades you’re left there overcome by the sensations left by this album; hauntingly artistic and entrancingly arcane.

Standout tracks: Rapture, A Wanderer’s Star, or, well... all of them.

The Beauty Within - 100%

HanSathanas, May 9th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Candlelight Records USA

How many times have you listened to a metal album, only to find yourself falling deeper in love after the first few minutes of listening to it? This is exactly what I have experienced with Slumber only full length ‘Fallout’. The album carries with it tons of harmonized atmosphere that can be found nowhere in nature. No kidding.

From the very opening song ‘Rapture’ (Futile, anyone?), we are greeted with majestic instrumentation that epitomizes all things ingenious and beautiful. The drums are warm, strong and resonant. What makes the entire album magical is the fact that the band’s performance seems to occupy every soundscape but at the same time, you can hear the ridiculously enchanting harmonized leads that make each song appears drifting effortlessly through time and space, defying the law of physics before finding its way straight to your psyche, where it stays for eternity.

The vocals are standard for bands playing in this style and genre. Although Katatonia is one of the oft-revered monikers within the circle, but with all due respect, Slumber crafted one of the greatest, most underrated records in the history of melodic doom metal. Why do I think this is so? What Katatonia and similar progenitors independently manufactured as the blueprint for the genre, Slumber takes it to a level higher than the rest with no peers almost. You might say that my love for ‘Fallout’ has somehow clouded my judgment. What else do you want me to say? The album contains some of the richest, grandiose melody in the realm where every other band seems to have saturated their sound, disconnecting any affinity with the roots from whence they grow, leaving behind any semblance of identity that defines the sound for what it is and what we have grown to love as well as appreciate.

The lyrics are also very well written. They are obviously blanketed with emotions, majority which are negative and withdrawn in nature; a perfect fit for music of this style.

So hard a surface, yet so easily broken,
Torn apart by truth and its sickening touch,
Words came out but were painfully spoken,
I never knew it would hurt so much

The above is an excerpt from ‘Where Nothing Was Left’. At first glance, it looks as if the band is just trying to daisy-chain some conceptually sensible words. But reading through it a few times will make you realize just how deep it truly goes inside your heart. The words are simplistic and jargon-free. This is not ‘hellfernal Judeoppressive decimation in sadisticunt whoreship’ type of nonsense. So honest are the words they touch your heart in places where even your soul cannot reach out to. The keyboards helped deliver those suffocating poems effectively, creating a sense of dying urgency with each note played. In between these soul-tearing melodies, the bass hold each piece together, like some sort of weight that brings the music deeper into its chasm of anguish. Fragile, so fragile it makes your heart crumble to dust in epiphany.

Additional female vocals are also present on this album. They are as haunting as ever, creating some kind of menacing backdrop for some of the tracks. While the female singing does not overpower the lead growler Bigonah, its inclusion enhances the atmosphere even further, thickening the already mournful outlook with pessimism. All the aforementioned traits helped contribute to the record’s praiseworthiness in the most wonderful way.

Unfortunately though, this is the only release from Slumber. The band has since broken up and reformed as Atoma, the music which I have yet to hear. Nevertheless, ‘Fallout’ is one of the few records that captures the essence of sorrowful melancholy. You just have to listen to it to be believed. For a person like me who quickly bonds with this album at first listen means there is something about it that goes beyond mere listening experience. Something that goes beyond scratching the surface, and ‘Fallout’ takes me further down into seemingly endless tunnel of infinity. Yes. This is a powerful record, one that worth every moment of your attention. Please buy this album quick and you will not be disappointed.

Where Did This Come From? - 92%

OzzyApu, October 23rd, 2009

Daylight Dies borrowed a bit from this band, but maybe I’m just saying that to comfort myself since I just finished listening to one of their songs. Slumber, releasing this in 2004, figured they’d take doom / death to greater heights by juicing the atmosphere and harmonizing THE FUCK out of the leads. Fallout revolves solely around these leads, and since every moment of their audio existence sounds blissful, romantic, and eternally enchanting without becoming repetitive, I want another album by these guys and I want it now!

The vocals are standard for the genre; typical roaring growls that don’t pack a punch like Novembers Doom, but still beastly enough. The music itself is more hauntingly magical, so it’s a great contrast while the guitars and bass rupture the earth. You thought Rapture (the Finnish one) were the kings of harmonized doom metal? Well, Slumber pretty much picked up the sport by the time Rapture was passing out their crown.

For sure there’s a large emphasis on the keyboards, which play a melody to drive the songs into a more spiritual, otherworldly atmosphere, but it’s easily the harmonized leads that transcend the music beyond any human level. They’re so melodic and catchy, crisp and flailing with grace while the riffs crushes with a beastly rhythm guitar tone. This album provides the best of both departments, and the solos themselves are also very invigorating, something I haven’t heard with such fervor since Rapture’s debut, Futile.

Production as a whole is extremely clear, clean, and polished without sounding overtly modern like many bands in the > underground department. The album benefits from the crunchy production, with even the bass grumbling heavily alongside the curbstomping riff and lead. In this respect, the vocals are probably the ones a bit caught under the mix, but I’d rather not even bitch about that since the experience as a whole it what keeps me coming back. The drumming itself is deafening, with the double bass like meteorites crashing outside your house – you’re going to feel them as much as you’re going to hear them. The crashing cymbals sound superb and the toms have an extra echo to them without the hollow sound, and I’m all about that. There’s hefty use of double bass, and the usual pattern just includes the whole thing laying down suppressing fire.

The best track to bear these traits has to be “Distress,” which coincidentally was the first track I heard from this band. You hear that dreary but hopeful lead kick-off the song and you know you’re in for treat. It gallops forward in a depressing, shining glimpse of light that you can’t help but shiver in – very chilling stuff dripping with emotion.

If you’re a doom / death fan, then you must, must, must have this album. It’s not even a question, consideration, or option – this must be in your library. It’s a fantastic blend of harmony and doom that surpasses most of the bands in the department while you beg for more. Go and fetch this masterpiece and join in on the fun!

Genius - 85%

DrSeuss, March 14th, 2008

Majestic, desolate, crushing, yet surprisingly energetic. That's what Slumber's Fallout is all about. This great and inspiring release is for fans of Swallow The Sun, Katatonia, and Daylight Dies. This band does differ from their peers for the fact that they are a very diverse and sad, yet are able to be more upbeat in certain instances. The mix is very well done and every instrument can be heard clearly and all have a good presence where they are needed. More Goth Rock infused then most other Death/Doom acts out there. This band adds atmosphere with a wide use of keyboards, which for a person like me is almost definitely a turn off, but this band does it VERY well. They're not too in the forefront of things and tend to take a backseat to the guitars and add a great deal of diversity to the song writing of this album.

The guitars on this album have two different roles, one is to create a wide array of melodies and harmonies that at the core of this release create the atmosphere of sorrow and desolation. There are a lot of solos and harmonies on this release that just add more fullness to the writing on this album. The other role is to add a very crushing sound as the backbone of these guitar melodies, sometimes the guitars do take a backseat to the keyboards in which case the guitars are doing a more rhythmn oriented 'chug'. The bass guitar on this album is absolutely fantastic, just another plus to add to this band because of the fact that the bass player branches out and writes some very cool bass lines and fills that add a lot of texture to the music without sounding forced at all.

This album is predominately growled by an excellent vocalist Siavosh Bigonah. His vocals are deep and full sounding and fit the music excellently. The growls are very consistent and are a Death Metal oriented style. He has some range to his voice, but nothing too high in range, where he does do some very deep gutturals to some almost shouted gruff vocals that one could see being in a Sludge release. They defnitely have a lot of feeling and force to them, a very good vocal performance. There are also some added female choruses here and there, but they're not too in the forefront and are very fitting in the music. The drums are also very solid and give most of the music its energy. They have a lot of Goth Rock tendencies and as one would expect with a Doom release, some very crushing battle drum sounding parts. A very good drummer that keeps you interested most of the time with a lot of double bass. Overall an excellent first release by Doomsters Slumber, beautiful and crushing, I defnitely recommend checking this band out if you're a fan of Doom, Melodic Death, Goth Metal, and Death/Doom.

Edited 5/28: I determined that the original score was too high.

Dense and Beautiful - 90%

FastFingers, June 24th, 2005

This album really has something special. Each song is a work of art with swirling melodies and as much emotion as I've ever heard in metal. There is so much atmosphere provided by the keyboards and melodies that this album rarely gets old. It feels a lot like if Katatonia were to go back to playing metal but kept the same sort of emotiveness and melody they have now.

The use of the female vocals are excellent as they have been doubled and reverbed into sounding like a choir. The growls are excellent and never too high in the mix but also never too low. As far as instruments go, nothing sticks out as really amazingly technical but everything adds to the atmosphere. The bass is probably my favorite instrument. It has many good lines that are a bit tricky sounding but never out of place. It is also quite high in the mix. The rhythm section in this band do an excellent job holding down the low end while nice wet guitar sounds and keyboards sweep around the melodies.

One of the best pieces of the album is the production. It is perfect. Everything is crystal clear. I love this sort of production. I don't dislike raw black metal production because that is part of the character of the music but I love this type of clear production because nothing gets lost.

If I had one complaint it would be poor choice of keyboard sounds. Sometimes they just start sounding too technoey. More organ or piano sounds would benefit this album.

Take a listen to Conflict or Rapture.

Absolutely A Thing Of Beauty - 100%

Insomnia_Inc, December 24th, 2004

Always nice to see something like this, a band releases older demo material, all nice and re-recorded as a debut album enabling those who never heard of said band to actually FIND the dammed thing. Slumber was brought to my attention a year or so back when I actually managed to acquire a copy of their 2003 demo Seclusion .

Since that day it has pretty much been a permanent resident of my cd player, “Fallout” is Seclusion + Dreamscape (their 2002 debut demo), and 1 new song called “Fallout”, so you can imagine how happy I was to hear that first this happened, and second they were recently signed to Karmageddon Media, so it wouldn’t be such an epic quest to find the dammed thing.

There are sections within the music that are just so heavy they can only be described as beautiful, not in the “fuckin heavy *flips the horns*” sense but in how the haunting guitarmonies and flowing melodies are mixed with a fairly aggressive drum and bass section. It’s creates something that resembles a heavier Rapture or Katatonia.

“Fallout” is probably the most emotional record I’ve heard in years, there were moments I couldn’t help but close my eyes and let the sensations the music created wash over me, it is so easy to lose yourself in this album, not only is it easy, it’s encouraged, you simply must hear this.

Melodic Doom At It's Finest! - 100%

SodomyAndLust, June 22nd, 2004

This is one of the most, sad sounding albums I’ve ever come across. There are a lot of elements Slumber uses to create this. Use of keyboards and many effects and even a little use of female vocals. For the most part, the vocals are growled. The band they remind me most of is probably Katatonia. The influence is very apparent in this music, especially note the songs “Fallout” and “Distress”. Every track on this album, In my opinion Is good. But if you cannot look past keyboards (since there is a lot of keyboard use here) and occasional female vocals then this is not for you. If you appreciate melodic doom metal or looking for something sad (yet brilliant) or are a fan of anything like Katatonia, I urge you check this out immediately. You will not be disappointed.

The reason I gave this album 100%, Is because it makes the perfect atmosphere of sadness. Every element used is executed to perfection. I really hope for and look forward to Slumber’s next release.

Highlights: Although every song on this album is damn good, my personal favorites are “Conflict” and “Distress”.