Wastefall - Soulrain 21

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Sleaszyrider
Catalog Number: SR0028
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:11:00

Wastefall is a progressive metal band hailing from Greece, and this is actually their second release behind Falling Stars And Rising Scars which was released in 2003. Not much is known about this band except in the inner circles of progressive metal fans, but in short, they are Greece's answer to Pain of Salvation. That puts them in quite the company, as no one to date has achieved this, much less pulled it off. This is not to say that Wastefall doesn't have their own thing going, but it is hard not to mention this when listening to the disc.

Right out of the starting gate, the influences are evident, mostly coming from the aggressive / chaotic chord structures, and the passionate / aggressive vocal style of Domenik Papaemmanouil, who sounds like more than just a passing sound of Daniel Gildenlöw. To be fair, Domenik sings with an aggressive, passionate style and truly brings the music to life, although this is not a necessity when it comes to this band. The music itself can speak alone, blending styles of true progressive metal with a modern flair, and even injecting a good dose of violins when needed. The music is angry, passionate, symphonic, heavy, and emotional all at the same time. Again, this really sounds like Pain of Salvation I'm describing, but you have to respect this band for even coming close to sounding like the gods of progressive metal in the modern age.

Wastefall takes the aggression, and injects it with a myriad of symphonics, soft passages, violins, and sound effect samples, and blends it all together masterfully to create this bombastic piece of work. What makes the aggression much more noticeable are the heavier, harmonized guitar sounds which drive the music home convincingly, while the drums are triggered heavily, and the bottom end is extremely low and powerful. The word "power" should instantly come to mind when playing this disc, but the words "beautiful" and "emotional" should also come into play as well. This band superbly marries these sounds into one huge deliverance that many bands of today only try to emulate.

The songs are connected by sound samples, effects, and soft passages that make the 71:11 disc seem like one long song instead of the 11 listed. Heavy grooves dominate the songs, including some momentary speedy passages, and there are plenty of disjointed moments as well as head banging moments to keep any progressive metal fan happy throughout the disc. Like Pain of Salvation, the band also uses some form of "rapping" styles at various points in the disc as well. Of note is the vocal delivery of Domenik Pappaemmanouil, who literally sings his heart out most of the way, stopping only momentarily to take short breaks of narrations and soft interludes. It is his passion and delivery that really convey the passion of this music.

The production is outstanding, although something is a bit wrong in the bottom end. While all of the instruments are clearly heard throughout the disc, either the bass guitar or the kick drum was recorded a bit too high as a loud thumping noise can be heard at certain intervals in the disc, and my subwoofer is not too happy with this. Heavy bass echo filled my room no matter how I adjusted the bass levels, and playing it loud in a car stereo will send your factory car speakers into a frenzy, reaching noise-popping levels. I tend to think that this was not intentional, but it does detract from the music periodically. Aside from this problem, the rest of the disc is recorded nicely, especially the soft, acoustic passages.

It is a shame that this disc and band aren't getting more of the attention that they truly deserve. This is as good as release as any that have come out in recent memory, and although I keep making the Pain of Salvation references, it is for review and admiration purposes only. Anyone into that PoS style and sound would truly love this disc. One of the more undiscovered gems that keep popping up periodically, this is absolutely essential for all progressive metal lovers who crave that uniqueness and a band that is separate and apart from most others.

Soulrain (2:55) / Stunned To The World (5:06) / Empty Haven (7:19) / Lullaby For The Gods (6:40) / Lesser (6:46) / Live With It (5:28) / Summerlonging Angels (4:55) / Self-Extinction Project (5:13) / Riot Of Oblivion (10:34) / 21 (5:03) / *Fountains Of Fire (5:56) / *Numb Lake (5:16)

Domenik Papaemmanouil - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Alex Katsiyannis - guitars, vocals
Christos Kyrkilis - keyboards
Matthew Dakoutros - violin
Nick Valentzis - bass
George Kanavaris - drums

Fallen Stars And Rising Scars (2003)
Soulrain 21 (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin GR

Added: October 15th 2005
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.wastefall.com
Hits: 856
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]