Council of the Fallen - Revealing Damnation
Martyr Music Group
Death Metal with Black Influences
12 songs (39'57")
Release year: 2002
Council of the Fallen
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Hmm, has South Carolina, of all places, become a hot bed for American death metal? First, Nile comes out with an exceptional record, but it is, sort of, expected. Now we have Council of the Fallen which is a very nice surprise.

Guitarist Kevin Quirion (of Broken Hope) has laid the foundation for Council of the Fallen along with Derek Roddy, drummer for Hate Eternal. To complete the threesome, Sean Baxter (also of Broken Hope) plays the bass. In a way, this being the band's debut record, none of the musicians are newcomers to the scene.

By putting out Revealing Damnation CotF has issued a memo to many of the aspiring brutal and technical death metal bands out there. “You do not necessarily have to be ultrafast, ultrabrutal and boring all at the same time to be called Death Metal”. CotF found their special touch in fusing death and black metal elements which really separates them from the rest of the field.

The foundation of the music is undeniably death metal with Sean Baxter singing in the very low guttural manner. Maybe, it is because Nile’s record is very fresh in my mind, but I hear some similarities, minus, of course, Nile’s Egyptian influences. The wonderful part about CotF riffs is that they are very memorable (Secrets No Longer), draw you in and make you come back to give the CD multiple listens. Drumwork by Derek Roddy brings out two words “controlled mayhem” to mind. How he switches from furious blast beats to crazy rolls with such ease is unbelievable. There are a few just plain brutal technical death songs (Eternal Suffering, Cloaked in Isolation, Remnants of Existence), so traditional Broken Hope and Hate Eternal fans are not forgotten. To me these are somewhat less interesting. Yet, the band delivers so much more. Just before their pounding death metal riffs become monotonous they sprinkle in a touch of blackened atmosphere, a gut wrenching vocal shriek or melodic lead. Kevin Quirion sings the black metal part, and his “duet” with Baxter colors the songs. Sometimes, when the song is almost Viking-like (Unveiling the Path) Baxter dominates and invokes the memories of Amon Amarth with their combination of aggression and melody. In places where band wanted raw emotions to shine Quirion takes over as in Lying in Wait and Cast from the Heavens. The latter song rolls at me as one neverending surge of human pain. Some songs (Search for Purpose) have slower apocalyptic guitar parts, insanely chaotic (Cloaked in Isolation) or “to kill for” melodic leads (Lying in Wait). The band even has a couple of tracks (Shadowed Horizon and the closer Realms of Conquest) which would fit well on any Swedish death/aggressive thrash album (The Forsaken comes to mind for some reason).

It feels that the band has processed a lot of the influences and came up with the original recording which will be known as Council of the Fallen. With the record deal and better production, await a good album next time around as well. The only problem is this may be a one time deal as all band members are involved with other projects.

Killing Songs :
Shadowed Horizon, Unveiling the Path, Lying in Wait, Cast from the Heavens
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Council of the Fallen that we have reviewed:
Council of the Fallen - Deciphering the Soul reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
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