01. A Hammer And Nails
03. The Gallows Await
04. Burning At Both Ends
05. Things Are Different Now
07. Hidden Hands
09. Dead Weight
10. Faith / Fate
Forming from the ashes of two other bands and only being around since 2002, Belgian rockers Rise and Fall have quickly become one of the most successful and hard hitting bands in the European hardcore/punk/metal scene, as well as gaining popularity here in the states. Already having a well established discography under their belts, which includes three full-lengths, splits and 7″s, Rise and Fall return after 3 years to give us the loudest and heaviest album of their career, the frenzied and razor sharp sounding, Faith.
Rise and Fall merely teased our taste buds when they released their Deceiver 7″ back in 2011, but it was enough to get the attention of the fans and leave them fraught with anticipation for their upcoming full-length. Now was it worth the wait, did it live up to 2009’s Our Circle Is Vicious? You bet! In fact, it has completely surpassed that album. Faith pretty much picks up where Our Circle Is Vicious left off, delivering those fast paced and loud as hell riffs that make you want to punch a hole through the earth. However, this time around the band must have been hopped up on something, because the outcome this time around is a much heavier, faster and more experimental beast than any of their previous records.
Leaving no room for a build up or calm intro to prepare the listener, the opening track, ‘A Hammer And Nails’ goes full throttle, and goes for the throat. Much like the opener, ‘Soul Slayer’ heard on Our Circle Is Vicious, Rise and Fall know how to make a statement early on, as the chaotic wave of snare hits, riffs, distortion and the bellowed screams of vocalist Bjorn just stampede their way through the minute and fourteen second track. You’d be hard pressed to catch your breathe as this relentless barrage pummels its way through the next three tracks. It’s not until you get to ‘Things Are Different Now’, that the album slows the tempo down a bit and you’re able to retain some form of composure. But don’t let the melodic overtones heard throughout this song fool you, this song is quite beastly over its four minute runtime.
Faith continues its relentless onslaught for the remainder of its duration, but it’s the final track that really encompasses the tone of this album. Nearing the seven minute mark, ‘Faith/Fate’ showcases the band putting their all in, and the outcome makes it the albums most memorable song. Beginning on an aggressive note, the song just shreds, with moments of anguish from both the instruments and the vocals. Much like the whole of this album, ‘Faith/Fate’ is a punishing track, one which progresses throughout, utilizing rhythmic grooves and creating a flow that will keep the listener hooked. At about the half-way mark a long and drawn out chord begins to ring out leading you to believe the song is at an end, but after a minute or so the song explodes back into a dark, blistered wall of fury, as the underlying chord continues to ring out under the roars of Bjorn, giving way to the most visceral and emotional culmination this album has to offer. It’s one hell of closer and will easily be a song that fans will beg to hear live.
One aspect though that always hinders a band of this caliber, is the fact that they’re grouped in a genre of so many other similar sounding bands. Of course this is the case with every form of music, but Rise and Fall can easily be overshadowed by bands such as Trap Them, Ringworm, Converge, and Integrity. And this is in no way a knock towards any of these bands, as they are all the best at what they do, and I happen to enjoy them all immensely. It’s just a shame because so many great bands can get lost in the fray of things, and Rise and Fall are clearly one of those bands in the hardcore/punk/metal circuit today that deserve a lot more notice than they already have.
I know it’s hard to take my word for it, as you clearly have to listen to the album yourself, but I can find no flaws with Faith. Other than the similarities one can compare to other bands of the same sound, Rise and Fall have given us one of the years best offerings in hardcore. Hands down, Faith is the bands best work to date and coupled with the producing/recording talents of Kurt Ballou (Converge), and the gnarly album artwork courtesy of Jacob Bannon (Converge), they have released an album that is both savage and personal, thus showing the bands willingness to grow and experiment with their sound. This is Rise and Fall at their prime, and it shouldn’t be ignored.
Rise and Fall – Faith