Dead to Fall – Are You Serious? (Victory Records)

Thursday, 14th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

With nothing more to show than a reputation as a good live band, Chicago’s Dead to Fall have veered off the metalcore path with a tongue-and-cheek album ragging on the scene they have been bottom-feeders of for the last decade. This is the catch – Dead to Fall realizing the metalcore jig is up and it’s time to try something new and for once, it works for the most part, although like any other blasted metalcore album, the results may vary.

Opener “The IQ Test” is blatant salvo directed towards the formulaic nature of the metalcore scene, complete with a would-be songwriting instruction manual and goofy shout-alongs. “The Future” is a swift, aggro thrasher that almost gets ruined by a beatdown at the halfway mark, “Major Rajor” chalks in as a pretty stock ‘core thrasher, with its only redeeming quality being John Hunt’s vocal approach, while the more experimental “Loch Ness” is territory Dead to Fall should hit up more often.

While it’s refreshing to see a band branch out and try new things, Are You Serious? is going to face a long, uphill battle if its going to win any prior detractors. In these parts, this album cut through most of the chaff, Dead to Fall showing they don’t take themselves too seriously and might have a chance at prolonging their career in the wake of what has been a literal abandonment of fresh, relevant ideas in the American metal scene.

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