01. Blood Starts Running (Intro)
02. Out of the Clouds
03. Piece of You
04. Dead Eyes
05. Bloodred Salvation [Instrumental]
06. Raise Your Remorse
07. As I Watch
08. Overflowing Senses
09. Swallowed Lies
10. Twin Curse
2006 Lifeforce Records
Germany's Fall of Serenity play a brand of precise and calculated metal/death metal so technologically aided that it sounds vaguely industrial at times. They're so prolific that in the six years since their debut split with Heaven Shall Burn, they're released four full-length records. Logically, you'd think that these guys would have been making a name for themselves by this point, as each of their releases gets a slightly higher profile. On their Lifeforce Records debut however, it's fairly evident why a band this hardworking just hasn't blown up worldwide: lack of originality. They've got that whole Euro/Heaven Shall Burn/Cataract/Dew-Scented aesthetic into one neatly produced and more "death metal" package, but it just doesn't make an impact because it's been done so many times.
The riffs are vintage Euro-metal, the vocals are unremarkable and the production is so slick that it becomes sterile. I generally like my metal with a bit of an edge to it. You should be able to tell what's going on, but a little grime doesn't hurt. Fall of Serenity also has a bit of a penchant for keyboards, something I don't believe has any place in this sort of thing. The disc's title track sounds like the title screen of Zelda, a piano interlude so bland that I started daydreaming during its brief duration, only to be jarred awake by "Raise Your Remorse." As good as that individual track was, the disc had already begun wearing out its welcome.
As I mentioned before, the percussion on this disc is delivered with a mechanical precision that leads me to believe the drums were heavily manipulated during the production process. It's usually fairly obvious that this kind of record features triggered drum sounds, but it's either the mark of a weak drummer or a bad producer when you can tell the performance itself has been altered. I could be wrong and this guy could be a human metronome but I honestly doubt it. There's just some parts that feel like they were added in or made more elaborate later.
Bottom Line: It's becoming more difficult to settle for mere competency in metal as increasingly talented bands continue to emerge. A decade ago, this would've blown people's minds. Today, it's just plain boring. Production aside, there's nothing terrible about Fall of Serenity's latest release, there's just nothing special either.