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Fallen Utopia - Disequilibrium

Fallen Utopia
by Chris Hawkins at 03 March 2018, 10:29 PM

The five- piece band from Carinthia, Austria known as FALLEN UTOPIA, our subject, has evidently been banging it out in the underground for quite some time.  The band's first release was a three -song demo in 2006, and between that time and 2011 they released one full-length.  The break came in 2011 when an offer was taken to go with Cursed Records.  The next release was an EP in 2012 titled “Nothing’s Made for Eternity,” and now the group presents the first LP from a label, the subject at hand, "Disequilibrium."  Upon pressing play, the listener is welcomed into the fold of what appears to be younger guys playing the Metal from the photographs they present online.  Normally, that isn't even a factor touched upon in a piece such as this, but the youthfulness of the band does play a role eventually and evidently in the material.

Track one, "Dr. Mueller's Asylum," kicks everything off as it sets the tone for the rest of the album.  Double-bass fluidity compliments the thrash riffs, but everything in this song, as in the songs to come, mostly, points to the breakdown.  Let it be known, though, that the band has definitely done the homework.  The guitar tone is spot-on in its reference to, or rather, veneration of early 90s Swedish Death Metal.  Think of DISMEMBER or ENTOMBED, even AT THE GATES, but the line would fittingly be drawn at "Slaughter of the Soul."  The whole album gives the feeling of 90s Death Metal and Thrash / Groove Metal bands generally, but with exceptions here and there.  The first band that immediately came to mind within seconds of listening to the first track was GRAVE, particularly the material from "Soulless" and back.  The bass tone, while massive, growling, and almost sounding metallic at times, has a much rounder sound than the saturated distortion favored by Jorgen Sandstrom, the once bassist and lead vocalist of GRAVE. Vocally, there are two options:  the first being a deep guttural growl akin to GRAVE and AUTOPSY, while the second is Black Metal-like shrieks which occur typically while the band is in mid-blast beat.  "Mindcage" is another example of the band wearing their influences on their sleeves as it is, without doubt, the most derivative track on the album.  At some parts, particularly breakdowns, the band gives a LAMB OF GOD or even CHIMAIRA (the 808 bass drops, primarily) vibe.  In truth, the sound is more akin to LAMB OF GOD's previous band BURN THE PRIEST in that both give the impression that they are trying to find their niche while still throwing out good ideas and riffs but lacking when it comes to arranging.

Unlike the last example, "Said the Mute Deaf" shows a more focused band, and the result is a much tighter arrangement.  Despite the fact that a chief complaint of this album is that after several listens, everything seems to blend together, there are other tracks that offer a bit of diversity.  "Macrocosm" begins with a tranquil, ethereal piano intro that is suddenly interrupted by blistering blast beats that graduate to more Thrash-sounding riffs.  The title track is another display of more mature arranging as its opening Swedish Death Metal-sounding riff is complimented by solid, brutal double kick which transitions to a riff that could have come from the playbook of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES.  The last track of note is undoubtedly "Coma," as it begins with soft, mellow acoustic guitar until 0:45 when the bottom falls out kicking in the distortion and creating a solid tremolo-picking part in sync with bass and drums that then turns into an old school Black Metal section straight from the handbook of Nocturno Culto and Fenriz.  Who could have guessed that was coming?

To sum things up, FALLEN UTOPIA is a band in the same boat as countless other bands in the scene.  Having a label is a definite advantage, but their greatest need seems to be more experience. Such experience would help the band form a more succinct identity all their own.  Simply put, the band must take inventory of its strengths and weaknesses to finally grow into its own shoes despite the fact that it takes influence from some of the heavyweights of Extreme Metal.

Songwriting:  7
Originality:  5
Memorability:  5
Production:  6

3 Star Rating

1. Dr. Müller`s Asylum
2. Said the Mute Deaf
3. Mind Cage
4. As the World Falls Silent
5. Omnivore
6. Macrocosm
7. Disequilibrium
8. Coma
9. Blood Cult
10. Shaping of Ideology
11. The Rider`s Tale
12.  From Void to Chaos
Daniel Haslauer - Vocals
Benjamin Knes – Guitar
Lukas Wald - Guitar
Maximilian Wald – Bass
Dominic Raunigg– Drums
Record Label: Cursed Records


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