Belay My Last - The Downfall
It always pleases me to find much-obvious metal releases in my promo batches. Just looking at The Downfall's cover art, a Reaper-esque hooded skeleton with acidic skies as a backdrop, you know you're in for something heavy. And heavy is exactly what Belay My Last are, much in the vein of extreme/technical death metal masters Necrophagist or Between the Buried and Me. Heavy on breakdowns, heavy on disshelved melody and extremely heavy on aggressive, iron-fisted lyrics. So, what is missing here?
It's hard to tell. Opener "An Inconvenience (To a Whore)" is technically sound, extremely forceful and melodically sound all at once. Only, it sounds as if Belay My Last are trying just a little too hard to fall into the rest of the pack. The majority of The Downfall sounds much like the last BtBaM and Necrophagist albums, only setting out on it's own course on tracks like "Cognitive Dissonance" (an awesome instrumental) and "Mannequin Smile" (with it's off-timed riff patterns and intensely technical drumming), but these moments are few and far between.
There's not much bad to say about The Downfall other than it's lack of inspiration and Belay My Last's lack of a unique sound picture. Okay, forget unique, they don't even have one to call their own, this blend of metal has been tried, tested, improved and perfected many times over in the past. Even now, bands of this ilk are dominating the metal world and it has more to do with those scensters buying stuff like this up instead of delving deeper into an immensely deep genre pool. Regardless, this is a solid melo-death album for fans of the aforementioned bands and maybe Lamb of God freaks as well.
Oh, and remember how I mentioned the lyrics? Well, after going through all of the lyrics provided, I have two words for Belay My Last: Grow Up. What, are you mad at your mommies or something? (I'm just kidding of course, but they could try to vary the lyrics up from the atypical "I hate _____" and "Fuck_____".
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