Fall of Serenity
Open Wide, O Hell

So here is a reunion I’m not sure anyone was really clamoring for. Fall of Serenity came up with fellow Germans Heaven Shall Burn, releasing their first material on a split with HSB in 1999. They released four albums between 2001-2007 that all delivered the same sort of metalcore/hardcore/melo death sound (although their debut was a little more death metal based, and had some Swedish influences) that HSB perfected and other Germans Caliban, Six Reasons to Kill, Fall of a Season, Fear My Thoughts and Deadsoil played.

And to that end like those bands other than HSB, the results were largely mediocre rip-offs of Darkest Hour (though Caliban released some better stuff early) that came and went when the metalcore fad withered a bit in the mid-2010s.

But here we are a full 17 years after the band’s last album, The Crossfire,¬† and although the band officially got back together over a decade ago, they have been preparing for the release of Open Wide, O Hell ever since. But unfortunately, all that preparation didn’t make much of a difference as Open Wide O Hell, is still painfully average to decent 00s metalcore/melo-death all be it with a newer slightly blacker sheen.

Even with a largely intact lineup from the band’s productive years, this just sounds like it’s from 2005-2008, again even with some more forced black metal tremolo-picked moments and vocals, there is nothing here that really stands out. None of it is terrible or even bad; the production is decent, and there’s some snarling feral energy here and there, but like their 4 albums, it’s just ‘there’. And now with the passing of 17 years or so, it sounds dated to boot.

Opener “Thy Pathway” comes right out of the gates with the band’s increased black metal hues which surface here and there (“Chaos Reign”, “A Winter Song”) amid pretty standard Darkest Hour riffs the next few tracks “Darkness, I Command”, “I Don’t Expect I Shall Return” and “Wastelands”.

The back end of the album seems a little stouter and gruffer with a little more death metal influences such as “To Tear the Flesh” and “…But Grim Will Follow” but closer “I am the End” uses some clean vocals that don’t work and highlight the bands not quite Darkest Hour sound that they still have 17 years later.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 18th, 2024

Comments

  1. Commented by: Steve

    Funny thing to bring on Darkest Hour as inspirational source, who in the past copied one At The Gates riff after another. Caliban an original band, come on?!


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