Austrian hardcore/metal band Dreaded Downfall are back with a new album called Farewell to Greatness. The album was released on March 27th 2017 via White Tower Records.
The band had this to say: “We knew that Dreaded Downfall deserved a great debut album, so we took our time and created something that really exceeded our expectations. ‘Farewell to greatness’ is everything we love about hardcore music. The songs are honest, fast and heavy, but the songwriting is also focused on melodies and clean vocals. This album is much more to us than just a bunch of songs that we wrote. It’s about our story and how our lives are linked to music and this band. These chords have never saved a soul, but don’t you worry I can promise you it’s fine, ‘cause I know that they’ll save mine”.
Opening song Lines that Led Us Here is instantly appealing with a decent hard rock/hardcore blend & catchy chorus. It’s a frantic opener that comes with some nice gang vocals. The contrast of hardcore vocals & clean singing doesn’t sit quite right at first but really gets going on Scars as Medals. A killer track with a fantastic ending.
What Dreaded Downfall do really well is combine hardcore with uplifting gang vocal moments. These moments get the hairs standing up on the back of your neck & you want to be part of fist-pumping crowd.
Things get better & better with the fading in guitar melody/electronica of My Revelation Left a Note, followed by an explosion of hard hitting metal. A seriously strong song with an absolutely wicked breakdown.
It’s hard to stand out in the melodic hardcore crowd & you could argue that most bands are playing catch-up with the likes of While She Sleeps. Comparisons are inevitable especially on songs like Promises that ends up feeling WSS-lite.
Dreaded Downfall have dropped a stellar piece of work though with some imaginative ideas. The occasional splashes of electronica work really well such as on You Left… (bit videogame sounding) & Dear Father.
The album rarely misses, only on forgettable songs like I’m Broken, At Least We Tried (Although there is some nice piano melody) & the acoustic Farewell to Greatness. By time you reach the latter you’ll likely have had your fill of the “whoa oh” vocals.
The album finishes on the super-strong upbeat sounds of Encore. Its machine-like riff is appealing as hell & it has the strongest vocal performance of the album. It would have been the perfect ending if it wasn’t for another ballad (third of the album).
Why This Used to Be a Sad Song was thrown in at the end is puzzling as it’s bland & filled with yet even more “whoa oh” vocals. Disappointing.
Regardless of the final track, Farewell to Greatness is a damn good album. Filled with momentous riffs & hooks, you’ll be humming choruses long after they’ve finished.
Dreaded Downfall – Farewell to Greatness Full Track Listing:
1. Lines That Led Us Here
2. Scars as Medals
3. My Revelation Left a Note
5. You left… (feat. Johan Lindström of Normandie)
7. Dear Father
8. I’m Broken
9. At least we Tried
10. Farewell to Greatness
12 This Used to Be a Sad Song
Dreaded Downfall - Farewell to Greatness (White Tower Records)
The Final Score - 7.5/10