Release DetailsLABEL Firebox Records
RELEASED ON 12/7/2005
Fall Of The Leafe
posted on 2/2006 By:
Fall of the Leafe sound like Katatonia. The first comparison always arrives quickly, but is also ushered in with poignant questions. For instance:
- When did Katatonia form? (1991)
- What year did Fall of the Leafe assemble? (1996)
- At what point did Katatonia copyright this dark melancholic rock – free of growls? (Some would say in 1998 with Discouraged Ones. Others would claim 1999’s Tonight’s Decision was a major benchmark for this style, even more so than its predecessor.)
- Have Fall of the Leafe always sounded like they do on Vantage? (I honestly don’t know, but I highly doubt it.)
- If so, who is the true “pioneer” then? (There’s no right answer to this, and in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. However, it’s probably worth arguing about. Prepare your arsenal of insults, pertaining to sexual orientation, and entrench yourself in the muddy depths of MetalReview’s foxholes.)
- Lastly, where do groups such as Tiamat, Anathema, Green Carnation, Amorphis and [blank] fit into the picture? (Uh, pass.)
Still, I hadn’t even heard of this Finnish outfit before this disc invaded my ears. After the first four songs, though, I was hooked. “The Fresco” is a terrific opener, brandishing all the traits needed to capture the attention of the downtrodden fans of this particular style. Other than the Rapture-esque melodies and riffs, Tuominen’s vocals are capable of producing the stupefying aftereffects of a taser. Once you’re hooked by his soaring multifaceted abilities, well, you’re hooked by his soaring multifaceted abilities. Oddly enough, the overall tone and clarity of his approach lands him more in tune with a Seattleite than one would think. Tuominen also parallels Antimatter’s Mick Moss to a certain degree, but at any rate, the vocal performance is lustrous. It is, arguably, one of Fall of the Leafe’s best attributes, and I suggest they utilize it to the fullest extent.
“Morning Works” isn’t as bouncy as “The Fresco,” though both retain an unshakable sense of sadness. The choruses found within “But the Ghosts Here” are emotive, alluring and gripping. There’s a splash of gothic thrown in for accentuation, and Tuominen sings circles around many of his fellow combatants. “In the Silence of Sand,” unfortunately, is where I began to notice signs of imperfection. At times, the tempo – bolstered by overeager drumbeats – longs for differentiation, but doesn’t pull off the transitions convincingly. There’s a heavy synth presence, which I don’t recall being noticeable prior to when “In the Silence of Sand” hopped aboard, even though piano and other effects appeared beforehand. In short, the last eight compositions didn't really satisfy me. By the time I crossed paths with “Off the Map, Under the Sun,” Vantage became glaringly monotonous. Dr. Loss of Momentum, I presume?
In the end, Fall of the Leafe aren’t as dejected as their peers, nor are they as consistent. If the first few tracks composed an EP, then I would’ve been floored. But as it stands, this hour-long excursion provides – fleeting – respite from much of the shit that’s out there. Nevertheless, I’ll cling to Katatonia’s The Great Cold Distance and Rapture’s Silent Stage if I want to ruin my good moods, which appear about as frequently as Halley’s Comet. Or better yet, Halley himself.
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