Dead to Fall - Villainy and Virtue

Victory Records


Upon receiving this new album by Dead to Fall, I had never had the opportunity to listen to any of this Victory Records band's material.  The band lost three members from the lineup of their last album, Everything I Touch Falls to Pieces.  Now the band has regrouped with new blood and has proceeded to unleash a monster album that combines brutal hardcore with lethal melodic death metal.


To be honest with you, I’ve grown somewhat critical of the whole metalcore scene due to all the copycat bands and soundalike songs.  Bands like Bestiary helped change my opinion somewhat last year, and Dead to Fall does the same thing in 2004.  While this is not the most groundbreaking album, it combines passion, pummeling breakdowns, Swedish-styled metal riffs, a good dose of blasting, and semi-to-guttural growled vocals that leaves your head spinning by the end of song ten.


Where the first four songs push you to the ground, the ending six songs are the ones that batter and pound you into submission.  “Villainy and Virtue” impresses with unrelenting intensity before drifting off into the ambient sounds of “Little Birds”.  Before you have the chance to get comfortable, “Blood of the Moon” hammers the sound home again with some killer drumming and a great ending.  The powerful instrumental “Cross Section” prepares the way for the death metal laced “Master Exploder”.  A very abrupt ending of that song begins the final “Epilogue” with the thought provoking screams of “A virtuous mind dreams what a wicked man does.”  Could be a somewhat controversial line, but could also be some truth to it.


The band is just as biting lyrically as musically.  “Villainy and Virtue” declares, “As you claim the embrace of angels/Your intentions are too dark to speak/Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing/You pretend to be part of the flock/And somehow you convinced us all/That you are something you’re not/Those words and actions tear us all down/And you’re not content ‘til everyone around/Is with you in that hole you’ve dug for yourself/Die alone in that hole by yourself/This is where I draw the line/Sever all ties/With no regrets.”


Stellar production and illustrious artwork round out what is a metalcore album that I can actually say I enjoyed from start to finish without being bored out of my mind.  (Review by Matt)