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Fall of Serenity - Bloodred Salvation Review

by Dan Upton

Bloodred Salvation opens very much in a calm-before-the-storm manner: strings, a peaceful, even happy, piano line, and sounds of blowing wind. Of course, just that alone wouldn't exactly make for good death metal, and so this German 5 piece uses the opening instrumental "Blood Starts Flowing" to warm you up to their attack. Despite pounding drums and a guitar groove , the 2 minute track still belies the punishment the listener is about to receive; flowing cleaning into the second track "Out of the Clouds," the band transitions quickly into full-on assault mode with Rene Betzold's screams fighting for attention over a blastbeat and tremolo-picked guitars.

Ah, here we have the true Fall of Serenity. Bloodred Salvation marks their fourth full-length, not counting a split with Heaven Shall Burn. Additionally, they've played with bands such as Dew-Scented, Vader, Behemoth, and Kataklysm; while a list of bands they've shared the stage with doesn't necessarily tell the full story, it does give you a little bit of an idea of what to expect.

I really can't tell that the band is doing anything that hasn't already been done well at one point or another by bands like Soilwork or In Flames; at least they do it well. There's plenty of thrashy riffing, melodic and harmonized guitar lines, and the ever-present pounding of the double bass drums. A few clean vocals are tossed in, such as on the chorus to "Out of the Clouds," but they're downplayed as a mere backdrop for Rene's growls. The disc slows down halfway through with the piano instrumental "Bloodred Salvation," but lest one think the band softened up during recording, the following song "Raise Your Remorse" again starts off with a pounding blastbeat and galloping guitars.

The first time I listened to this CD I remember mostly the pummelling of the drums and guitar, especially after the confusing winding down in the middle--this is a full length and isn't grind, why would it run out of steam 20 minutes in? (Of course, by the time I could formulate that though, I was being drilled by blastbeats again.) The more I've listened to it, the more it's grown on me: it's clear that these guys have perfected their craft over the last 8 years and 3 discs playing together. The song are well constructed, the guitarists complement each other well, and the breakdowns in particular are far more creative and interesting than run-of-the-mill chugging. The main complaint that could be made is that the vocals are pretty standard growls, but to be fair they do attempt the occasional change of tone, and the music in the background is definitely enough to keep things interesting. If you're looking for something along the lines of melodeath, or just something with more creativity than the majority of metalcore (because let's be honest, this is where that stuff gets its influence), look no further than Fall of Serenity.

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