Wastefall
Self Exile

Wastefall may be the strangest combination of musical styles that I’ve heard this year. There’s Dream Theater-style prog, there’s Meshuggah-like angular riffing, there’s Korn-like nu metal influence and there’s some straight up 1980s hard rock.
It’s an interesting mix to say the least, and when it works, as on the rocking second track “Willow Man,” it really works. When it doesn’t, it’s a mess. The latter is usually a result of the band trying to do too much, like the jazz and flamenco flavored “Dance of Descent,” which despite the wide variance in styles really feels out of place here.

After a couple of slow tracks, they recover a little with the opening riff of “Another Empty Haven,” but then they slip into a Tool imitation on the verse.

My biggest problem with this record is that it sets me up with a very cool and promisingly heavy opening and then it fails to deliver. The five or six songs that follow are kind of a boring drag before they finally give me another little blast of metal on “E.Y.E.” The record picks up again for a few songs, but even during those it lapses back into that plodding, self-important style that just makes me feel like the band is going out of its way to show the listener how artistic they are.

Fans of artsy rock like Tool may want to give Self-Exile a listen. They’ll likely find something they like. But since Tool bores the shit out of me, I find this record interesting, but just not for me.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
June 6th, 2006

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