The Duskfall - Source
Black Lotus Records
Melodic Death Metal
8 songs (33:22)
Release year: 2003
The Duskfall, Black Lotus
Reviewed by Jay
Album of the month

Picture this. You have had a hard day of working on your feet. All you want to do is go home and relax. As you sit on the train home, the guy next to you starts headbanging and acting like a complete fool. That fool would be me listening to the new release from The Duskfall. This album is a headbang fest that will make you feel as though you are discovering metal for the first time again. The complex harmonies and dueling melodies are piled on thick and this all gels perfectly to create infectious songs that will get stuck in your head. There I was humming this album when I brushed my teeth, rode the train, sat in class, was working, in my dreams. This album is so good it took over my life for the last week.

Case Closed” is one monster opening track. Sounding similar to the recent Nightrage album as well as early Dark Tranquility in the galloping nature and speedy delivery of the Melodeath injection. One aspect of this song that is remarkable is the change in the drumming between the chorus and the verse. While the tempo does not change, the drumming becomes a lot less complex and it is a wonderful effect. By playing fast and ripping away those double bass and snare hits for the chorus, it allows you to appreciate each aspect of this song more. The cymbal stomps in the chorus also provide a great sound and make you want to headbang. This is just one of the many memorable songs on this album. The guitars screech and wail exactly as they should while maintaining wonderful melodic lines. The cymbal sound is amazing and reminds me of Katatonia’s magnificent cymbal production. “Striving to Have Nothing” has a chorus reminiscent of Whoracle era In Flames. I got goose bumps when this chorus broke in. It was as though the perfect Melodeath chorus has been written.

My favorite track on this album is the third song called “The Grand Scheme.” Taking a page from The Haunted during the verse, the chorus becomes a lot more melodic and adds several layers of harmony in multiple guitar tracks. I swear if not for the vocals of Kai Jaakkola, this could be At the Gates. Right as the second chorus is about to begin, there is a short drum fill and the chorus breaks out but instead of the drumming pattern that has been continuing for the bridge, we get some blast beats. This change is welcome and throws an additional element of excellent way to mix things up during a song. This is the only place on the album you will hear blast beats but they could be integrated a little more since this band crawled from the wreckage of Gates of Ishtar. In addition, the sound of the blast beats isn’t too distinct and it is hard to differentiate between the different sounds at this point however, you know that it’s all there. Regardless, this song is so good, even minor production quibbles cannot detract from it. The title track has an intro riff that bores its way into your head. I don’t know why they wrote such a catchy intro if just to add another catchy chorus. If these songs got airplay on major radio stations, I really think some of these songs even with the death vocals could be hits.

Lyrically, the songs are excellent as well. It’s not the typical death metal lyrics that make little sense. These songs are fleshed out and have clear messages of love, loss and soul-crushing pain. Kai Jaakkola’s voice and delivery style is somewhere between Tomas Lindberg and Mikael Stanne. “Guidance” really could be a lost track from 1995. Everything from the guitar sound, to the backing vocals in all the right places, to the spot on drumming and thick melodies make this a killing song with a chorus that you will be humming for days. This is how a great album sounds. After one listen, I was saddened that this wasn’t released earlier in 2003 so it could have made my best of list for the year. I suggest anyone with even a passing interest in this style of music check out this album. It’s not super technical, it’s not trying to break the speed barrier, but it’s just some excellently produced melodic death metal, and with that, my hat is off.

Killing Songs :
Each one but the real masterpieces are Guidance, The Grand Scheme, Source and Case Closed.
Jay quoted 98 / 100
Alex quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by The Duskfall that we have reviewed:
The Duskfall - Lifetime Supply Of Guilt reviewed by Kayla and quoted 70 / 100
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