Fall of Serenity
The Crossfire

While The Crossfire is Fall of Serenity’s fourth full length album, they are not the same band that recorded 2001’s Dead Man’s Requiem. Even since their last album, Bloodred Salvation, bass player John Gahlert has taken over vocal duties, guitarist Alex Fischer moved over to bass and Ferdinand Rewicki joined the group filling the void on guitar – I suppose it’s easier to find a new, capable guitarist than a decent vocalist – whatever works I suppose. In the end though, The Crossfire suffers from the same problem as Bloodred Salvation – it seems like it should be good, but lacks any truly memorable points to make it stick.

Even with all the line up switches, their sound remains basically the same – a mix of vocals treading the line between death growl and hardcore-like bark, speedy thrash and death riffs, some melodic leads, wailing solos and pounding bass and drums. Normally a death/thrash assault such as this is right up my alley, but as I said before, the majority of it just doesn’t leap out at me. Just going through the motions is a good way to put it. They have their moments though; “Knife to Meet You” has some killer riffing; “The Crossfire” is a barrage of riffs and blasts with some hot soloing and closer “Blood Portrait” is an all out thrashing shred fest that pulls no punches.

The problem lies with the rest of the tracks – they all bleed together and sound too much alike. Every song falls between the 4:15-6:10 frame, so there’s not a lot of versatility – just a lot of bludgeoning without any really strong hooks to keep you coming back. They could have benefited greatly by throwing in one or two drawn out, spacey-er, epic like tracks heavy on the melody and maybe a couple short and sweet front to back bruisers. On top of all this, their overall sound has been done to death by others.

This really is something I should be digging considerably, but it’s just too monotonous. Next time boys, keep the intensity but mix it up a bit. It’s always nice to not know exactly what’s coming next.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
June 30th, 2008

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