Fall Silent, hailing from Reno, Nevada, as brought us their newest masterpiece, Drunken Violence. Formed in 1994, Fall Silent has constantly brought an onslaught of brutal hardcore with an obvious death metal influence.
In mid-2001, lead singer Levi Watson promised the most brutal Fall Silent album to date. He described a heavier, more stripped down sound. The band has lived up to their promise with this album by maintaining their brutality and sound distinct of only Fall Silent.
The album opens with a muddy guitar fading into tom hits. Harmonics introduce Levi's scream of "Violence." The song "Flowers for Whores" then blasts through the speakers with a high energy guitar blast. Similar to other Fall Silent albums, a transition slows the tempo to half speed for a destructive shout chorus which tends to litter not only this song, but the rest of the album.
With all the similarities in the sound produced on this album, Fall Silent has also ventured into new styles of hardcore and metal. Yes, they still have the same vocal style; Levi's high-pitched, vocal-tearing screams that rip through the listeners ear drums which will leave weaker listeners nauseous. However, the song "Seven Plies" incorporates a clean vocal channel that has never been heard in previous albums. This sound is very similar to another hardcore/metal band Diecast. Although the clean vocals last for two lines of the song, it is an effective touch.
Fall Silent, like on every full length album, shows their broad sense of taste by covering a well known song. This album covered Heart's "Barracuda." With crunchy palm mutes and double bass, they give an oldie a complete makeover with steroids and speed.
Fall Silent has also ventured into more mature playing within recent years. Their guitar riffs have become longer and transition smoothly into each other which heightens the effect of the viciousness even more. The actual guitar techniques have also become more interesting. Hammer-on taps on "Flowers for Whores" and harmonics that are prevalent in most every song show how talented these individuals are becoming. Songs such as "Donny's Song" and "Never Beforeā?¦Never Againā?¦Never" are perfect examples of this harmonic usage.
Like previous albums, Fall Silent's lyrics tend to be of a highly intelligent and straightforward variety. Songs about personal struggle ("Donny's Song"), friendship, and the hardcore scene ("The First Seven Inch Club"), are topics that Levi seems very animate about.
The overall production of this album contains many pluses and a few minuses. Fall Silent has always had trouble with the vocal and drum levels. The vocals have high amounts of treble which adds to their effect, but also tends to be too much for some listeners. The drums are also a bit quiet for my taste. The double-bass is prevalent along with the snare sound. However, the cymbals are hardly audible and the toms are virtually absent. When drummer, Damon Watson, is playing alone, the kit sounds great, but becomes hidden behind Levi and the guitars. On the plus side, the guitar sound is heavy and easily distinguishable. The heavy break-downs shake loose items in the room and the whole band sounds very tight. Similar to Meshuggah, there are many guitar starts and stops over a constant drum beat along with guitar parts that cross speaker channels. This effect makes the whole experience more menacing. As usual, the raw bass sound is also prevalent throughout the album, especially in "The First Seven Inch Club." The artwork is very well done and is relatively funny seeing angels drinking Jack, pissing, and fighting with each other.
Drunken Violence, in my opinion (for what its worth), is one of Fall Silent's best albums to date. Their unique style has been maintained through their 8 years on the scene, and hopefully their brutality will carry on for 8 more.