Debut albums can be a bit hit and miss sometimes, quite often a band can try too hard to cram everything in to impress and end up falling short of the mark. Some can demonstrate a bands fragility and lack of focus but still show enough promise to warrant keeping an on them. Then of course we get to the third category of bands that produce something rather special and manage to capture the mood and sentiment of a disassociated youth.
Farewell To Arms, happily for me and you, fall slap bang into the third category. Having listened to the album over a lengthy period of time I still can’t quite get my head around how intense and powerful a debut this is.
I must say I approached it with some concerns, described as Progressive Metal Hardcore, to me that sounded like an auditory overload in the making, however they genuinely pull it off, keeping a wonderfully high tempo throughout, interwoven with skilful mellow passages that make an album to applaud.
Hailing from Southern Germany, the quintet haven’t been around that long if truth be told but have already been kicking up a storm by winning through to play at the world famous Summer Breeze Festival, sharing the bill with such luminaries as Arch Enemy and As I Lay Dying amongst others.
Vocally the band deliver with a Hardcore vocal mixed with clean courtesy of Dominik Martin, musically however the band are like a bag of cats, mixing traditional Hardcore with really clever progressive and experimental elements, interlaced with soothing instrumental passages and reflective segments. Tracks such as ’At The Watershed’ and ’Procession’ are as complex as they are enjoyable, driven by some excellent guitar work by Johannes Denk and Gordian Golder, keeping the proceedings fresh and vibrant throughout.
The amazingly haunting ’Mess Of Memories’ demonstrates another string to the bands bow with its spoken word delivery and orchestral backing, something which you would not necessarily expect from a band of this genre. The intro of ’Resurrection’ builds and builds to lead into ’Losses To The Crown’, a really catchy chorus and mix of vocal styles ensuring that this is certainly one of the picks of the tracks on offer. ’Scarless’, also is a track worthy of note, a thunderous drum intro ignites the flames and from that point on you are over run by a wave of aggression and controlled power.
The band also rope in the vocal services of Matze Schlegel of The Sorrow to help out on the brutal track ’Rejected’, which again adds another element to the bands performance.
Hardcore the genre, I guess is one of those styles of Metal that you either love or hate, there is very little common ground with other forms of Metal that you can draw people together with. Which is a terrible shame, as if perhaps more fans would un blinker themselves and embrace the undoubted talent of bands like Farewell To Arms then we would become a much richer and more vibrant community.
2. Losses To The Crown.
4. Between The Walls Of Ruins.
5. Rejected feat. Matze (The Sorrow).
6. Mess Of Memories.
8. From Init To Exit.
9. At The Watershed.
Farewell To Arms are;
Dominik Martin – Vocals.
Manuel Lotter – Drums.
Johannes Denk – Guitar.
Gordian Golder – Guitar.
Roland Gallus – Bass.
Out now via http://www.massacre-records.de