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Attika – When Heroes Fall (Re-Release)

When Heroes Fall (Re-Release)
by Rachel Montgomery at 04 April 2019, 8:27 PM

ATTIKA is a name that’s been out of circulation for a while. A metal band from Ohio, contemporaries of RITUAL (also on the same label), they have re-released their 1991 album WHEN HEROES FALL, a “fresh US Power Metal” sound according to the press statement, combining the best elements of thrash and prog.

Did it measure up to the hype? Not really… While I enjoyed the original release for what it was, I had two big problems with the re-release. First, the sound remained incredibly dated (first problem) and muddy (second problem). After learning that this was a re-release from 1991, I wasn’t surprised. However, I still think the band should’ve re-mastered their sound better. I also see the re-release as a missed opportunity to update the progressive elements of their album.

The album’s opener, “Filming the Tragedy”, hits the listener with 80s sound quality and instrumentation/vocals right away - think AVENGED SEVENFOLD meets IRON MAIDEN. While it’s solid, minus the pervasively bad sound quality, it’s still a dime-a-dozen song that doesn’t really make me excited for the rest of the album. The live bonus track exacerbated the dated sound quality: the live version sounded a hundred times better – I could hear the bass and the notes were less muddy.

“Silent Rage”gives more of a MEGADETH vibe, but like above, SSDD. I do like the symphonic elements in the latter half of the song, as well as the powerful guitars at the end. It was like they added extra oomph at the end, until the singer starts singing again, then its back to same-old, same-old.

I went back to the original release of “When Heroes Fall” and it sounds better than the re-released version. “Prisoners of Habit” was better; granted that’s because its guitar and rhythm varied from the rest of the album. And “Hollowed Grave” is where I resigned myself to the fact that the poor sound quality of the album was a feature, not a bug. Everything’s muted. The guitars slur with the drums and I can hardly find the bass.

The high point of the album for me was “The Shame”, and if they stylized the rest of the songs with this more progressive element, I’d like it more, even with the dated sound quality. The difference in instrumentation at the beginning piqued my interest and the rest of the song did not disappoint. The final song, “Black Rose”, was a solid ballad with nice instrumentation, despite the other issues.

I think this re-release could have been a lot better with some updates. I want every album I review to be good, and I hate giving bad reviews. Unfortunately, the problems I had with this album were too big to ignore.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 2

2 Star Rating

01. Filming the Tragedy
02. Silent Rage
03. When Heroes Fall
04. Prisoners of Habit
05. Hollow Grave
06. Deliverer
07. Seventh Sign
08. The Shame
09. Black Rose
10. Silent Rage - Live (Bonus track)
Robert Van War– Vocals
Joe Longobardi – Guitars
Dan Rubel – Bass
Jeff Patelski – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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