What is with Sweden? For some reason, that country produces some of the finest progressive metal in the world. Some of my favorite bands ever originate from that beautiful place. There’s something in the air there, I guess, and it can definitely be detected in the debut from All Things Fallen. Their self-titled debut releases on May 1st, and it is definitely something that prog metal fans will want to hear.
The band features a great line up. You’ll hear Erik Tordsson (7Days and End of September) on lead vocals; Markus Sigfridsson (7Days, Darkwater, and Harmony) on guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards and programming; and Leo Margarit (Pain of Salvation) on drums. That group of musicians is about as high quality as you can get, and Markus specifically is one of my favorite guitarists. He’s a beast for sure, and Leo is a monster on drums always.
The music here is progressive metal, though you will find a fine balance between various tones and effects. At times, it’s more rock than metal. So, while dark riffs and dynamic drumming play a major part here, you will also hear highly melodic vocals, atmospheric keys, and wonderful tonal transitions. The album feels darker in a haunting and ominous fashion, as can be visualized through the cover art. So, it’s not dark as in blackened or depressing, but it is mysterious and creates grey textures in your mind.
Erik’s vocals are one highlight of this album. He sings mostly in an upper range, and stands tall above the shadowy nature of the music. He has a strong grasp of melody, and throws catchy hooks in all over the place. The lyrics he sings concern the sinister powers-that-be that keep the poor impoverished and powerless, with a side of societal norms and how they harm us. It is a bit paranoid, but demonstrably true, and I like that kind of thing.
Every single one of the six tracks here is great. They flow fluidly and decisively, creating an album that feels whole after only hearing it once. Markus’ guitar work has a way of doing that, I have found. I think four of the tracks deserve some spotlight here. “I Wait for You” is a strong opener with a huge chorus and delicious central riff. “In The Divide” is the single, and it sounds fantastic. The combination of eerie violin and fantastic keys with the bombastic riffing is a real winner. I love that atmospheric portion in the middle.
My favorites are “Mirages” and “Introspection”. “Mirages” has a perfect balance between shadowy riffs, haunting choir vocals, and instrumental excellence. It always arrests my attention immediately. “Introspection” is a perfect ending to this album, and probably the best track. It has the strongest vocal hook on the record, and the balance between heaviness and bright melody is at its strongest here. This track is also a great example of the flowing, illustrious style of the album.
Overall, All Things Fallen impresses with this debut. It is tight, focused, and instantly likeable. You should see my son Atlas crowd kill to the riffs, too. He’s great at that. I really hope that we can see more from this trio. They have lots of experience under their belts, and I know that anything they produce will be golden.