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The Fallen Crimson


Artist: Envy
Label: Pelagic Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 07 February 2020

Pelagic Records releases, for digital download, The Fallen Crimson, by Envy – described as a ‘Screamo’ band from Tokyo in Japan. The group has been together for nearly 30 years, but this is their first album in five years, following Atheist’s Cornea in 2015 and a teaser single called Alnair in August, released in November 2018. The instrumentalists consist of Yoshimitsu Taki on guitar, Manabu Nakagawa on bass, Hiroki Watanabe on drums, yOshi on guitar, and Nobukata Kawai also on guitar...

We begin with 'Statement of Freedom', which has slightly growled vocals, a heavy riff and a simply melody. All of the vocals are sung in their native language and that’s fine for the words that are sung, but the crammed-in effect of the spoken vocals is disconcerting at first and then a little annoying, as they don’t really fit. That aside, there is light and shade.

This definitely isn’t the conventional direction for any Rock or Metal band. The heavier vocal style and overall theme reminds me somewhat of Dark Tranquillity. Conversely, 'Swaying Leaves and Scattering Breath' is reminiscent of a heavy version of Big Country. Envy has certainly stolen their early sound with this one.

There is a quiet musical break in the middle with clean vocals. This band has been listening to The Crossing, and that’s no bad thing. 'A Faint New World' has a nice drum pattern accompanied by acoustic guitar introducing this track, before it kicks in with a heavy but moderate pace and slightly screamed vocals. It keeps the previous theme of spoken vocals in the middle which build up to the full band sound again. There’s a nice alternative timing. I have to applaud the drummer on the variation of beat here, as it keeps the sound fresh.

'Rhythm' has angelic "Ah"s which are joined by a nice straightforward guitar melody and floor tom drums. This time the vocals are female and clean. It has a medieval gothic feel. The band beefs-up the backing, but it remains essentially a ballad. An enjoyable song. 'Marginalized Thread' has a drum count-in to a riff that again hints at Big Country, before quickly slamming down the hammer with enjoyable double-paced but varied freeform drums, screamed and clean vocals. The switch from moderate to fast thrashing works really well, and the song ensures that it doesn’t outstay its welcome. 'HIKARI' incorporates a haunting David Gilmour-like opening. Quiet and ‘less is more’. The words are spoken quickly now, amid a heavy/moderate backdrop and the introduction of the growled vocals, which sound like they are coming from a distance. Throughout this time the same melody is maintained. I like the nice warm bass feel to the intro of 'Eternal Memories and Reincarnation'. It has the same basic melody structure as the previous song. The quickly spoken ‘unsung’ vocals begin to grate though.

We’re slammed straight into 'Fingerprint Mark' at a hundred miles per hour, with screamed singing much superior to the spoken ones. A brief respite and we return to the glorious frenzy. Enjoy the energy. This one’s short, sharp and takes no prisoners. The freeform drum patterns are great. Envy likes to build up from simple little melodies. In 'Dawn and Grace', Big Country are back. Electronica is utilised to distort the early vocals. I much prefer the full band heaviness. This one, 'Marginalized Thread', and 'Fingerprint Mark' are the best of the bunch. Light and heavy moods compete in 'Memories and the Limit'; a great hooked theme which links the two together. This one’s nice, too. We finish with 'A Step in the Morning Glow', the first single from this album. Again, I like the heavier moments of this song, along with the sometimes lighter atmosphere. However, this is too similar to previous tracks and is therefore perhaps not the best choice to round-up the proceedings.

This is undoubtedly something a little different, but across the album quite samey in places. Dark Tranquillity’s and Big Country’s love child. Nevertheless, it’s a solid release, and the drummer is superb.


Ty Power

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