“We wanted our first album to bring something fresh to the Metal scene” – is what FallofStasis says of their debut album “The Chronophagist”. Formed in Montreal, Quebec, this Canadian Metal crew dabbles in Symphonic Black/Death Metal with a vibe that settles in easy for fans of bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse, Finntroll, and Black Dahlia Murder.
This 10-track album is nothing short of adventurous with stories that touch on fantastical and personal elements bringing a new experience to Metal listeners around the world.
The beginning is done through “Wilted Forests” with a name that’s just as terrifying as the sound it fits with. It’s a passionate introduction into what this album will reveal to us on a musical level. Melodies are complex with messages richly entangled in every tune. From the darkened beginning to the start of a mysterious carnival, our curiosity buzzes and we venture ever further into the void.
“Fall of Stasis” is a symphonic track with an old-school Cradle of Filth feel in its vocals. It’s musically dense with backing melodies held in the keyboards while the drums and bass emit new, complicated harmonies. I admire how the keyboards stand out in this song and that, despite the balancing chords, the guitars do not take the spotlight for too long. Melodic solos caress the center of this track with style and severity before a darkened drum beat takes hold. It’s an excellent starter track, and definitely one to fully indulge in on an intricate level with the alternating guitars and pianos truly standing out in this piece.
Down the list comes “Drunken Howl” that holds a Folk Metal vibe with harsh vocals running wild. The adventurous melody takes us on a high-flying journey through the life of a seafarer. It’s got Alestorm inspiration taking the helm as the tale recounts a murderous Pirate Captain and the brutal torture he loves to inflict upon his victims. Rich guitar solos flood this track while battering drums hammer on the pressure like cannon fire. Despite the content, this track is fun, and an easy one to find yourself headbanging along with.
“Baal Arise” is the shortest on the album but is in your face with a Demonic takeover of speed, terror and downright brutality. A quick take on Baal’s goal to conquer and enslave humanity put forth in fearsome riffs and jaw-dropping solos that make this song simple but, powerful.
We meet “The Cult” which is a Death Metal drop into a Pagan Cult ripe with violence and despair. The psychedelic take mixes odd riffs and keys against ground-shaking drum beats and gut-wrenching bass that create a strange yet consistent melody. The weight of this track is delectable for its short feature with its transition from brutality into a folky one of unique quality.
Shockingly, “Twilight Carnival” begins in an unassuming fashion. There are no screams or eerie music, only the low thud of a deepening bass before we draw the curtain back and enter the carnival tent. We move from 0-100 in mere seconds with strange entities bombarding us around every corner. The typical carnival theme is a pale backdrop to the menacing riffs that make us relieve our worst nightmares. Still, the epic sounds of rhythm guitar and illustrious drums make this track a head-banger’s dream.
“Baron” is fast and melodic, dabbling on the tale of a hometown drunk’s antics and exchanges. It’s got a catchy melody that’s reminiscent of a seaside shanty with ecliptic harsh vocals and guttural growls that mix well with the cleaner, lighter verses. Guitars take precedence in this track with some ear-bleeding solos and wild chords easily making this track on of musical radiance.
A ballad enters the scene as “The Last Waltz” and recounts the tale of an elusive Sorceress who takes advantage of lustful wanderers who cross her path. The power of this track is magnetic, drawing us in to be hooked on every note and vocal high. The blend of acoustics combined with melodic riffing make this tune as unique as its tale. Harsh vocals and Demonic screams add to the lust of this track, ramping up the sensual to downright diabolical with its musical complexity. The downward solo that tails the end is one that lingers, as the Sorceress surely does in the minds of her past victims.
“Swarm of Casualties” faces the duality of war – with rival enemies caught in an external loop of battling one another. Musically this track perfectly depicts the heat of battle with thundering drums and sword-swinging guitars at every angle. It’s an ideal blend of melodic, thrash, and death metal with each layer perfectly contrasting the other to build scene after scene of brutal bloodshed. There’s no shortage of solos in this song, with roaring drums battering us in heavy succession. It’s a lengthy track but, one filled with balance and unrepetitive creativity that only heightens the aggression.
The last track, and the title of this album, is “The Chronophagist” that rounds out the complexity and individual tastes of the band and its influences. Telling the story of a deity who can steal time from mortals, the pianos of this track have a Fleshgod Apocalypse tone that creates unease the moment it begins. A choir enhances the tension in the atmosphere before Jess drops in with vocals that sound as if they’ve been boiling in the very bowels of hell. Guest Viky’s clean vocals on this track add a layer of hopelessness with her light-hearted sound battling against Jess for supremacy. It has the feel of a gothic masquerade with undead guests dancing beyond time and ability. There’s thrash riffs, deadly screams, cavernous bass, and frightening drums that blend to create a catastrophic depiction of an endless apocalypse.
Overall, this album is unlike any other debut out there. It puts absolute chaos on the line and ensures each band member’s unique taste and abilities are available in full force. Take a listen and hear for yourself how this eccentric album puts forth one hell of a dynamic unmatched by any other.
Favourite Tracks: The Last Waltz, The Chronophagist
Release Date: February 25th, 2022
1.) Wilted Forests
2.) Fall of Stasis
3.) Drunken Howl
4.) Baal Arise
5.) The Cult
6.) Twilight Carnival
8.) The Last Waltz
9.) Swarm of Casualties
10.) The Chronophagist