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Farewell To Arms - Perceptions

Farewell To Arms
by Eric "Carnegie" Hall at 27 December 2012, 3:12 PM

Goddamnit. God fucking damnit. Damn it all. All of it. Straight to hell and ne’er return. Another potentially great band falls prey to the seemingly limitless shitfluence of some of our modern Metal trends. This could have been so great. It could have been a late edition to my Arbitrary List of Ten Albums For 2012 list. But nay. Fucking nay. I know you want more information, and my kinda dickish editor-in-chief has been on my ass about being more fair and less harsh, so I’ll be fair and kind and tell you why I am so heartily disappointed.

FAREWELL TO ARMS is German melodic Death Metal band. And while Germany and other Teutonic regions have bred some really amazing bands – just off the top of my head, OBSCURA, CORONER, and KREATOR come to mind – this one seems to fall short. First off, let me just say right now that the guitar work is absolutely great. I love the lead work, it’s a melodic sandwich of music and karate chops straight to the gut. And the riffage also deserves near-top marks. And the drumming, while admittedly not my greatest or most important artefact to critique, was so tightly wound I could have set my clock to them. I bet the drummer was a switch watch-maker in a past life.

However, you don’t go to an American for diet tips, and you don’t go to me for blind-eyed worship. The first of my major criticisms is the marginalization of the bassist. I couldn’t really tell perfectly, but it almost sounded like he was rocking a fretless. If he is good enough to work that, then why in the name of ass wasn’t there a bass solo anywhere? It pops up now and again, but I really feel like there is a hidden gem here that’s going unappreciated. I guess this is almost a good thing to be mad about. Basically, I’m telling you guys in FAREWELL TO ARMS that I think your bassist is too good for the parts he gets. Give him more time to stretch his wings and fingers.

Lastly, let me just lob a semi-globulous mass of anger at the vocalist. I love melodic Death Metal, but the trend lately is for the vocalist to try his damnedest to outshine everyone else for record time. The style he uses is an overly-growly mumbles, and lacks definition in the words. It ends up being audio slurry of sound with no real clear conception on what he is saying / growling. What was he shouting about? For all I know he could be lamenting his ice cream cone for melting in his hands and getting his fingers all sticky, and there aren’t any napkins around, and the bathroom is currently occupied, and he can’t clean his hands, and people are starting to stare at him! I don’t know.

So that is why I was so frustrated at the onset of this review. I had high hopes for this release. But they just came up short through fallings of the nature of this genre. To be totally fair, if they were just straight up Thrash or Death or any other less-complex form of Metal, then I’d probably be a bit more charitable. But, for me at least, the bar for quality melodic Death Metal can be almost impossibly high – mostly because some of the bands in this field are so phenomenal that it’s just not easy to compete.

But, you know what? This band does compete, and they are certainly quite good. If I could somehow gag the vocalist at times and just enjoy the music, it’s probably some of the best music you could find. Yet, I can’t do that, so I must (almost regrettably) give this band a score lower then I was hoping for. FAREWELL TO ARMS, may you return when they are just a smidgen better arms. You’re something like 90% there.

4 Star Rating

1. Resurrection
2. Losses to the Crown
3. Scarless
4. Between the Walls of…
5. Rejected
6. Mess of Memories
7. Perceptions
8. From Init to Exit
9. At the Watershed
10. Procession
Gordian Golder– Guitar
Johannes Denk– Guitar
Roland Gallus– Bass
Manuel Lotter– Drums
Dominik Martin- Vocals
Record Label: Massacre Records


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