Fall Of Serenity
"The Crossfire"

(Lifeforce Records America 2008)Fall Of Serenity - The Crossfire

At about the two minute mark of "The Crossfire," it becomes abundantly clear what's in store for you for the next fifty minutes. If your guess is that you're about to get an audio bitchslap by some German thrash-by-way-of-death metal, probably by dudes who used to play metalcore, you'd be absolutely right. In this case, though, predictability isn't necessarily a bad thing. For Fall of Serenity, predictability means consistency, and consistency means an ultra-solid extreme metal attack.

There's far more Bay Area than Gothenburg going on here, which is definitely a plus. God knows music needs more At the Gates rip-offery like I need a piping hot chess piece forced into my rectum. There's also no 'core either, with obligatory breakdowns and tough-guy meathead posturing checked at the door. Instead, thrash's hallmarks, speed and raw aggression, take precedence. Monstrous riffs and ultra sharp hooks provide catch-worthy headbanging jams, while the occasional blast beat and double leads add a little flavor to the cake of brutality. John Gahlert's throat-ripping rasp is one-dimensional, but is nonetheless more than serviceable. Lutz Einenkel's drumming is direct and precise, with only a modest tendency towards over eagerness. These are minor complaints, though, and there's nothing on the album egregious enough to render it unlistenable.

"The Crossfire" is nothing groundbreaking, but really, what is any more? Fall of Serenity's mission is to terminate your ear canals with extreme prejudice, and they accomplish this efficiently and effectively. If you're a fan of the current crop of thrash practitioners, you could do far, far worse than give this a shot.

B+

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