Council of the Fallen
Council of the Fallen’s debut, Revealing Damnation, is a mixed bag, and I hate to say that about fellow Florida boys. Council is the side project of current Hate Eternal drummer Derek Roddy, interesting because until recently, Hate Eternal was the side project of former Morbid Angel guitarist Eric Rutan (it’s his full-time gig now). Side project tango continues! To be sure, there are some interesting juxtapositions to be found on the record. For instance, the music tends toward the more thunderous end of death metal, whereas the twin vocals of bassist Sean Baxter and guitarist/songwriter Kevin Quirion are in the low-gutteral vs. high-raspy style of classic gore metal. Pretty neat to hear that vocal powerplay over fairly conventional and often even melodic death metal playing. It adds more unpredictability to the mix.
The musicianship on Revealing Damnation is pretty damn good overall. Baxter chooses to keep his bass tones clean, which provides a pleasing rhythmic distinction from the razor-distortion of Quirion’s guitars. But just when you want to dismiss him as loudfastrules, he’ll bust out some nearly jaw-dropping clean, emotional solos, like on “Demon Winds” or “Search For Purpose.” Wow. And Derek Roddy adds, well, he’s certainly channeling Keith Moon here. Whenever the arrangements get a little safe on the record, he starts throwing in everything but the kitchen sink, no matter if it fits or not. That sort of “fuck it, take this!” attitude, I can dig. So there’s enough double bass on the record to cause a normal person’s foot to break off go flying across the studio right into the bass player’s mouth, perchance. The overall aesthetic is a product of the boys’ environment, definitely tapping into the same Floridian spring of sickness that brought forth Obituary, Malevolent Creation, Atheist, and Deicide. Give ‘em time and they’ll be players.