Fallen Mankind - 'Bleak Ocean'

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Fallen Mankind - 'Bleak Ocean'

The weak wall of sound, together with the lack of catchy harmonic solutions, leaves me pretty much indifferent about the success of this proposal.

Black visions and apocalyptic forecasts emanate from the music of this Swedish Heavy Metal group who are definitely concerned about an ultra-pessimistic view of our destiny on this earth. It's so black and Doomy that even the pictures in the (minimal) booklet don't seem to give us the slightest idea of what these gents look like.

Living in the north side of Sweden, where the light of the sun is mostly a chimera, surely must not help in terms of optimism. The opening title-track, a bombastic though strictly canonical song, is almost Melodic Metal with hints of Accept, Candlemass and the most depressive Stratovarius, and immediately I can tell where the rest of the tracks will lead to. 'Phoenix Rise' (a Phoenix is omnipresent in these cases) keeps on delivering the goods, especially the ones inherited by Iron Maiden and Accept, but without the peremptory, martial mastery of the latter, while on the other hand, a sudden rise of epic feelings (ala Manowar/Manilla Road) blaze out from songs like 'Murder She Screamed' and 'By My Side'.

The weak wall of sound of the self-production, together with the lack of catchy harmonic solutions, leaves me pretty much indifferent and uncertain about the success of this proposal. It all sounds very "already heard it before... over and over again" and maybe if the vocals were a little bit more different and unique, then these classically arranged Heavy Metal tunes could have come out more attractive, at least for diehard, naive hardcore fans of the genre. Even the song-writing is absolutely painful sometimes, and I mean like quite tough to bear. I understand life isn't easy and the world is falling apart but, for God's sake, playing an instrument and being able to play it hard 'n' heavy is already a gift. I don't wish or want to interfere with your poetic train of thought, but try to put some more of a good vibe in, at least every now and then.

You know, even Black Sabbath used to wear a very black mood, but they're still such fun to listen to.

Enrico Navella

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