Steelfall - The Event Horizon
Raging Planet Records
Modern Melodeath
11 songs (42' 11")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy

Steelfall, a fledgling heavy metal band from Portugal, provides in The Event Horizon a melodeath-tinged variety of heavy metal with clean/harsh alternating singing of the Soilwork variety and a very tight, modern sound that still makes generous use of riffs. Not bad at all for a first attempt, though occasionally the drawn-out clean screams become a bit clumsy.

The songs are all short and at least aim at some species of radio-friendliness -- if the target radio station was sponsored by an energy drink --, but this owes more to their clear metalcore influences than to any poppiness in their sound. David Pais's vocals have an angsty tone to them, soaring with fine, high-pitched agony over the harsh counterpoint of guitarist/vocalist Sérgio Mel. Songs like Open Your Eyes or Drowning in Hatred tend to be typical of the sound, a fast, rhythm-dominated verse with a much slower chorus and solo-free lead riffs, with the drums being miked with special care. This Fire Will Rise adds a bit more melody and contrast to the sound, with Pais hitting emotional peaks on the chorus.

Unkind souls may point to the short songs and occasionally cheesy melodeath growls used as introductions to songs as evidence of a certain unwelcome modernity, but unusually for a hardcore-oriented band, I'm not bothered by this. Mostly, I think, because The Event Horizon is so open about this; they play a somewhat poppy death metal and do it well. When you take it in that light, it's a lot easier to appreciate what they're doing -- even numbers like Far Away From You, one of the most toe-curlingly emo tracks of the whole thing, is pulled off with some real emotion in places (although I'm not sure it's possible to forgive the delicately whispered "and in this moment...I fucking miss you" lyric in that song).

While far from being something of interest to any traditionalist, The Event Horizon has its charms; I can imagine myself listening to this with a great more interest in my teenage years than I do now, but even now I have to say it's very tastefully done.

Bandcamp: https://steelfallofficial.bandcamp.com/releases.

Killing Songs :
Drowning in Hatred, This Fire Will Rise
Andy quoted 77 / 100
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