Review: Mercenary

Through a cover by Ed Repka my attention was drawn to this Fallen Man . The cover is on the beautiful artwork of " Mercenary" . After a quick visit to the bands MySpace I was quickly convinced of these gentlemen their abilities. After some gemail back and forth , we got their album " Reborn " from 2007 and their likely soon to be released album "Mercenary " which is currently only available on iTunes . After several listenings are both albums clearly matched, although " Reborn " sounds little bit more varied and therefore is a tad better. The music is somewhat describe à la Six Feet Under at the time of their first two albums , so pretty heavy and groovy . Although there " Reborn " also some industrial influences can be heard , which gives a very interesting and intriguing album . The texts of the trio Fallen Man are very politically and socially tinted . On " Reborn " are my favorite tracks without more " Trust betrayer " , the sublime WASP cover " LOVE Machine" and the very compelling " Cassidy " . In the case of " Mercenary" are that it is very strongly reminiscent Six Feet Under " Mercenary" and "Barrel of a Gun " me . The sublime opener on " Reborn " namely " Liar " is also on the recent " Mercenary" , be it here or as a valve . Of course there are still bangers on both albums , but these are just about the biggest outliers that may linger from the beginning. A band that I now no longer going to keep an eye on . Fallen Man is nice igniting , firm, dark sometimes even meezingerig but never really about ' the top' if you know what I mean! The men describe themselves as 'dark underground metal' and we can find our best . The vocals of singer / guitarist Mike to the hoarse and rough side , but fit perfectly with the music . Rep you to the bands MySpace where you already can listen to some of these gentlemen . Their clappers Bet you "Mercenary " after a listen or two though it is nice to roar ? Now it's back for a moment to doubt which of the two discs we're listening !

(Please note: This review was translated from its original German text.)

Review: Reborn

Fallen Man is a rather different breed of industrial metal; when you hear such a term, you probably think of thick, martial rhythms and chugging guitar lines ala Fear Factory. Instead, Fallen Man is sort of the less flamboyant, more metal cousin of KMFDM, or perhaps a very laid-back version of Ministry. While the industrial influences are very subdued, it's seems to be a clearly industrial album still; it's just hard to define how such a sound is carried across. The tempo of the music here isn't anywhere near Ministry hyperblast territory; it's more in the realm of dancey KMFDM rhythms, and, oddly enough, the slower the band goes, the better the music becomes. Hell, some of the best moments on 'Reborn' are when the band is approaching doom tempo and pounding away with slow, epic riffs.

A lot of the material on 'Reborn' has its roots in the '80s, if not the '70s. You can detect a lot of Deep Purple and Judas Priest influence on songs like 'Cassidy', with their hard rock riffing and drumming. There is other, more modern stuff as well: some material seems like Soundgarden with a harder, more industrial sound, and some is quite modern. But overall, the general sonic presence is from the early '90s or earlier, apart from a few notable exceptions. Riffing is quite varied; there's some faster, thrashy riffing, much like newer Ministry, mid-paced rock material, and best of all, the massive, eternally held doom chords on the slowest tracks. I get almost a Godflesh feel from the darkest, most oppressive tracks on this album, even though the music here is about the exact opposite of 'Streetcleaner'. The mood is just there on the best of tracks like 'Trust Betrayer' and '4th Of July' (the latter in particular is incredible, with the raspy vocals and apocalyptic lyrics really creating a flawless atmosphere).

Really, I would love to hear an album from these guys of nothing but slow, ultra-crushing songs like those two. The fast material is very good and catchy and a pleasing listen on its own, but it absolutely pales in comparison to the mid-paced dirges that Fallen Man really excels at. The production helps such a mood, with the strangely dull, brackish guitar tone, bubbly bass sound and sharp drums and vocals. The vocals in particular are a really good part of the music here, and the harsher they get, the better they work with the music, so the deep growls of 'Trust Betrayer' are probably the most compelling on the album. Overall, it's a good package that can only be better with a bigger emphasis on atmosphere and pure crushing heaviness.

'Reborn' is a really good album for the industrial metal fan. Those who dig the sound of guys like KMFDM or Ministry will certainly want to give the material here a try, as well as others looking for a different spin on the industrial metal sound. You can't go wrong with quality material like this.

Review: Reborn

Ah, I just love the style of music that Fallen Man play. It's technically groove metal, and probably fits in with the whole NWOAM thing that's going on in the US at the moment, which is basically a big wave of bands all groove-centered taking influences from thrash, metalcore and death metal, aswell as anywhere else they feel like at the time. Really bands like this aren't really tied to any one style at all, and the only connection is that they're both aggressive and groovy.

Fallen Man use about 2-3 riffs per song, which are mostly mid-paced and simplistic but powerful, with a catchy, repetitive chorus ("zombiiiiiiieeee, soldiiiiiieeeeer") and some sort of break in the middle, normally featuring a solo. Then it ends, and moves onto the next song where the formula is repeated. It's simple and pretty stupid in a very superficial sense, but it couldn't be more fun. This is perfect headbanging music and while it won't necessarily make you feel all squishy or bring you memories of epic battles past, it will be the perfect supplement of a drunken night with other headbanger friends.

However, it is unfair to claim Fallen Man are this typical, as they do have a few unique features. One is their slightly industrial edge and while this is used a fair bit with groove bands it's still pretty uncommon. It isn't as prominent as a band like Rammstein though, and it just sounds as though Fallen Man wanted to add a bit of Ministry and Fear Factory influence for no reason other than that it sounds cool. It's not so prominent in the beginning, and becomes more infused with the music as it progresses, peaking towards the end. Also, a lot of the lyrics here reflect quite an antichristian view, which is always cool, and isn't quite so common in this style but works well with Fallen Man's hard, industrial-tinged style. And finally, there's a cover of the cock-rocking shock-rocking 80s metal legends W.A.S.P., pretty odd for this style but quite fitting none the less. It adds a nice touch to the album, and vocalist Mark Gardiner does a capable tribute to W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie.

Overall, this is pretty typical for it's style save for a few interesting diversions, but if you're into this style of metal (as I am) then this should make a nice addition to your collection.

Review: March of the Sinners

Released quite soon after the band's latest full-length, 'March Of The Sinners' is a five-track EP showcasing a somewhat different sound for Fallen Man. Unlike 'Reborn', which cut its industrial metal with catchier, rock-influenced tracks such as 'Cassidy', 'March Of The Sinners' is particularly unrelenting and abrasive in style, taking its largest influences from a more mid-paced variation of Ministry's style. There's not a moment of perfectly clean vocals here, nor is there a sense of fun bounce; it's all much more serious and nihilistic than 'Reborn' was, with its crushing mid-paced grooves sapping any and all sense of happiness out of the music.

The quite brief sixteen and a half minute running time of this EP makes it go by in something of a blur, but there are several moments that stick out as being particularly compelling. 'Razor' is perhaps the most like the material on 'Reborn', with the industrial bliss that is the uptempo chorus. 'Crows Eyes' is perhaps my favorite track, with the most cruelly nihilistic and hateful lyrics, even beating out the rather straightforward 'Suffer'. What the absence of rock influence takes from the EP in variation, it adds an even darker and more decrepit atmosphere to the proceedings, which is exactly what the band needs. Perhaps the best way that Fallen Man demonstrates the fusion of industrialized groove with dark atmosphere is on 'Blink 2007 Edit', which is as much Skinny Puppy as it is Fear Factory with its whispered vocals and delicately placed lead guitar.

As short as this, I feel that 'March Of The Sinners' does mark a significant step up from 'Reborn', already a solid release in its own right. The reduction of accessible elements works well in the band's favor, stripping down their style of music in favor of something darker, harsher, and more hard-bitted all around. There's some small absences; no grinding, Godflesh-influenced tracks like 'Trust Betrayer', which I think should be the archetype for everything that Fallen Man does, but we can let that slide in the light of just how good the material here really is.

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