Wastefall - Fallen Stars And Rising Scars
Sleaszy Rider Records
Progressive Metal
10 songs (51:30)
Release year: 2003
Wastefall, Sleaszy Rider Records
Reviewed by Ken
Archive review

Greece is home to many great power metal bands—or, simply, metal bands in general—but only recently have I discovered some great progressive metal bands emanating from that distant shore, namely Fragile Vastness (an amazing band!) and Wastefall. I first heard Wastefall by way of their latest release, the excellent Self Exile. Fallen Stars And Rising Scars is the band’s debut from 2003, and quite the debut it was.

Had I heard this album then I would have likely deemed it a virtual masterpiece! However, I heard the far superior Self Exile first, so with my expectations very high I was somewhat disappointed with this one. Not so much because this is a bad album—far from it!—but because I know how great this band would become from hearing them on Self Exile; it is only natural for me to now compare previous albums to the quality of their latest, rather than the more typical other way around. Like Self Exile, this album features lots of heavy guitar work with a massive entourage of acoustics, piano and dynamic vocals that range from falsetto to a heavy growl and everything in between. The mix of heavy prog-metal with the melancholic, often Latin-like—or is it Mediterranean?—acoustics is what truly sets this band apart from other prog bands.

The album begins—and ends—with a baby crying, then barrels into “Killing Of Wolves,” one of the heaviest tracks on the album. Heaviness aside, the song still features a ton of shifts in style and instrumentation: acoustic interludes, clean and aggressive vocals, piano, and a rousing chorus (one that mentions the band name). There are some awkward moments in the song, but overall it’s a damn good introduction. “Like Father Like None” follows with a jackhammer groove reminiscent of bands like Souls At Zero, but still manages to insert some well-placed acoustics and a nice solo. “Fall Of Eva” and “Annabel Lee” are beautiful ballads, the latter having a big Latin/Mediterranean flair. “Subroutine” is an odd track that doesn’t work too well with its electronic-based, quasi-industrial groove and some ill-placed falsetto, but it’s not terrible. “April’s Ruin” is a melodic prog-metal masterpiece with a lot of AOR and 70’s rock quirkiness. “That Was All About” again offers up some AOR panache, but the song’s shifting sands defy that tag by uncovering a Slayer-esque breakdown layered with a soulful, moving solo.

There are also two instrumentals, “For What Is To Be Lost” and “One With The Fall,” and a spoken word piece called “Confession” that is backed by subtle acoustics and orchestration. None are essential listening, but never detract from the flow of the album.

Fallen Stars And Rising Scars still features everything that made their latest so great, but a bit less realized, fleshed out. However, aside from “Subroutine” there isn’t a single song I would ever consider skipping. The instrumentals could be deemed typical filler material, but not negatively so. Fallen Stars And Rising Scars is simply a debut that does what many debuts do: it shows potential in a great way; a great album that paints the future bright. And with Self Exile it, indeed, turned out very bright! (I’ve since bought Soulrain 21, their sophomore release, and it rivals Self Exile!)

AUDIO: April’s Ruin (Clip), Killing Of Wolves (Clip), Lesser (clip from Soulrain 21), Empty Haven (clip from Soulrain 21) and The Muzzle Affection (from Self Exile)

VIDEO: Self Extinction Project (from Soulrain 21)

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Killing Of Wolves, Annabel Lee, Like Father Like None, and April's Ruin
Ken quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Wastefall that we have reviewed:
Wastefall - Soulrain 21 reviewed by Joe and quoted 85 / 100
Wastefall - Self Exile reviewed by Al and quoted 75 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:25 pm
View and Post comments