The Fallen

And the can't get up

Front Toward Enemy - Metal Blade 2002
Rating = 6

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, a record label called Amphetamine Reptile (later shortened to "AmRep") was releasing all kinds of noisy heavy screaming intense post-hardcore music by such bands as Tar, Helmet, Janitor Joe and Guzzard. Loud chords and shouting abounded in abundancy, and the guitar tones were often metallic, reverbed, evil, brash, ugly, noisy and somehow both heavy and tinny at the same time, as if booming out at you through a sewer tunnel. Well, the late 80s and early 90s are OVER, Bub, and if you think they're coming back, that's because you're quite literally in a coma! But don't worry - if you ever wake up, I'm sure your wife will be there waiting for you, having not slept with another man for the past 12 years. So buck up! On a related note - you know how braindead people are kept alive on respirators, and stupid dumbass religious people argue that it's immoral to "Play God and decide to let them die"? Am I nuts or hasn't God (or more accurately, nature) already made the DECISION to "let them die"? Isn't it the unnatural, manmade respirator ITSELF that is "playing God" and making the vegetable man stay alive long after his expiration date? But hey, what do I know - I'm no theologian!

The Fallen are a heavy metal band, this much is true. The Fallen are a heavy metal band - hey! How's by you? I love to rhyme. That's why I wrote that Cat In The Hat movie! I'm glad you liked it! But The Fallen differ from MOST heavy metal bands in that they've adopted the sewerhole guitar tone, mid-guitar-neck almost-non-existent chord progressions and angry screaming-on-one-note variables previously enjoyed only by fans of Helmet's Strap It On LP. But this ISN'T your Father's Oldsmobile (Oldsmobile -- it's like if Grunge Rock were a CAR!). Why not? To TIE things with! That's why (k)not! Heh heh ehhe eeh YEeeeeeah I didn't make that up at all.

No, here's the real reason -- the DRUMMER. He's a precision-steel pounding, collaptivating thrash death metal nu-metal headbanging crisp snare-happy tight-as-a-nun's-habit drummer. For those of us still living in the past, it's a neat way to update a great old sound we loved as children, but it's also pretty darn hard to make out the riffs a lot of the time (because the guitar tone is so grimy, it sometimes becomes tonally buried behind the drums). Plus, even after you train your ears to pick out the subtle finger movements, too many of the riffs are just not terribly memorable. Each song will have like one really cool riff, and then the rest will just be head-aching POUND POUND GALLOP POUND with no backbeat -- and you know me, if I don't have a backbeat, my entire torso curls up and flops forward. You see, a spine is an important part of the human body and

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Oh, I see. Well, beat, bone - look, if I'd known you were going to argue over semantics, I wouldn't have crapped on a yarmulke and called it "Anne Frank's Diarrhea," but the fact remains that it's a work of creative expression and has NOTHING to do with anti-semanticism. I mean, I'VE got a big nose and like a good bargain, but you don't see ME going a

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Oh, I see. So now it's... okay, gotcha. So my bottom line is that if you like heavy chuggling blasts of fuzzed out midtempo anger interspersed with some fast painful poundings to the base of the skull, The Fallen will help you RISE to the occasion! Me, I find it powerfully monolithic but disappointingly monochromatic, with the main culprit being the singer guy, who makes every song sound exactly the same. Come on - you CAN'T be telling me that you have a singing range of ONE NOTE. For chrissake, Mariah Carey can sing in like 25 octaves and she spends half her time blowing black guys for coke money!

Oh, here we go with the "semantics" argument again. Look, is it Woody Allen's fault that "chink" is defined as "a narrow opening, such as a crack or fissure"? Hell, I'd stick my dick in it too!

Reader Comments
There's this record store I go to all the time that has a really shitty "punk/new wave/garage rock/60's girl group" section of 7"s. Half of the stuff is pretty bad stuff that never made it out for a reason, but when I first found the store I was so excited that I always got at least one thing. One of the 7"s I got at this point was a Guzzard 7" with a gold fish in a cowboy hat on the cover. I never, ever thought I'd ever see any mention of Guzzard again. You've amazed me again Prindle.

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