Fall of Seraphs – From Dust to Creation Review

According to the Book of Isaiah, a Seraph is an angel that has “six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.” According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Seraphs are known as “the burning ones” and are recognized as the highest-ranking angels amongst the heavenly hosts. According to me, these winged warriors serve as a great inspiration for a death metal band name, especially if you’re referring to their tragic collapse. Enter Fall of Seraphs, a death metal quintet hailing from Bordeaux, France boasting a quality handle (as I overexplained above), and a keenly-honed, DM sound that also incorporates elements of tech, thrash and black metal. But does their debut album From Dust to Creation truly wield the raw power necessary to harpoon fiery celestials from the sky? Will their DM assault cause the Heavens to spew forth an unholy torrent of blackened wings and charred feathers, befitting the band’s moniker? Turn the page in your Good Books, dear readers, and let’s find out.

Fall of Seraphs aren’t nearly grungy or muddy enough to fall in with some of the swampier sounds of OSDM, nor are they so shiny and over-produced as to be counted amongst the heaps of modern tech death bands. They fall somewhere in between, and it’s a spot that works for them. At their most crushing, you’ll hear echoes of bands like Cannibal Corpse and Immolation. But then you’re hit by some off-kilter drumming, a boatload of tremolos or a soaring, melodic solo. You’ll learn rather quickly that while Fall of Seraphs aren’t reinventing the wheel, they’re able to tinker at the genre’s edges in a way that keeps things interesting without sacrificing the heft provided by good ‘ole reliable death metal. Add in the album’s brief run time and songs that opt for impact with depth instead of breadth, and you can count on From Dust to Creation to leave you mangled and mutilated with plenty of time left to call your lawyer and write that disappointing stepson out of your will.1

Some bands miss the mark with an over-the-top (and overlong) atmospheric opener. Thankfully, “The Eradication Dogma” is able to skillfully transition the brief atmospherics into a maelstrom of crunchy riffs and blast beats by way of an “Among the Living”-inspired riff. The tune is mighty, techy in parts and builds momentum. The first half of From Dust to Creation is undoubtedly the strongest. From the memorable, jagged riff and monstrous drum and bass on “Mirror of Transcendence,” to the more thrashy, chuggy elements on “Divine’s Lament,” to the blackened, tremolo-happy “Fire Path of Punishment,” Fall of Seraphs have crafted an album that isn’t afraid of light musical diversity without veering off the path of death metal endarkenment. Even the penultimate track “From Dust to Creation,” amidst its own freneticism, finds time to flirt with more doomy passages and foreboding atmospherics. This fondness for genre-hopping, coupled with the seamless intertwining of DM gutturals and blackened shrieks keep From Dust to Creation an interesting, engaging platter without sacrificing that essential groove that supports such a colossal, seraphim-slaughtering structure.

Fall of Seraphs get a lot right on their debut, but they have some work to do in the consistency department. The album’s first half is also the best half, thanks to the band’s songwriting chops which maintain a solid through-line while allowing each track’s distinctive qualities to stand on their own. The back half, while also killer, also has a bit more filler, culminating in the final two songs “From Dust to Creation” and “Brood of Decomposition” sounding almost like a single tune. Less of an issue is the mix, which, while hardly a deal breaker, sounds a bit too clean for an album that isn’t more firmly entrenched in the technical death metal genre.

Do Fall of Seraphs deliver enough of the goods to be worthy of their self-imposed title? All these angelic corpses suggest yes. Despite some missteps, From Dust to Creation offers both immediacy and brutality while leaving room for nuance and intricacy (and bass). While not appearing on my most vaunted end-of-year list, these Frenchmen serve as a good reminder that between the bands stuck in an endless, repetitive rut and those playing post-hardcore disso-death jazz grind, there’s the righteous, yeoman’s efforts of a group like Fall of Seraphs. Now, who’s gonna clean up all these bloody feathers?

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Memento Mori
Website: facebook.com/fallofseraphsofficial
Releases Worldwide: October 24th, 2022

Show 1 footnote

  1. Call 1-888-Steel-WWengeance. The extra “W” is for MOAR Wengeance. – Steel
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