Album Review: Fallen Hope / Cassovita Split
Fallen Hope was the original incarnation of the band that is known today as Cassovita. For those who missed out on golden years of Santa Fe metal, imagine the technical, intricate instrumental compositions that characterize the modern Cassovita, overlapped with deep, guttural growls. I know, it’s just as delicious as I remember.
This EP includes remastered classics as well as more contemporary material. As a whole, the music is deviant and unusual. You won’t hear anything like this on the radio waves. Soaring consonant soundscapes plummet into abysmal, agitated guitars and furious percussion. Rhythm guitars chug confidently while the leads are defined by beautiful, complex melodies. There is also ample and interesting experimentation with rhythmic patterns and tempo changes. Unlike the balls-to-the-wall aggression into which most metal is unfortunately typecast, these lyrics are pensive and introspective.
The instruments, especially the drums, can be somewhat choppy, but that has more to do with the production quality than the musicianship of the band. In fact, they play with surgical precision. The anatomy (or should I say architecture) It is extremely structured and technical, but also anchored by a primal, raw, emotive quality. This music reminds me of how the rigid logic of the conscious mind is ultimately guided by the id. Or, to quote Nietzsche: “The will to overcome an emotion is ultimately only the will of another emotion or several others.”
The music, is in fact, a tangled matrix of conflicted feelings. Sorrow, anger, and even euphoria are all exemplefied, but the underlying cornerstone seems to be one of sadness. These songs are not the stuff of mosh pits, but they will keep you headbanging like a windmill all night long, baby.
This split, as well as other releases, are available on Bandcamp. My verdict? Fallen Hope and Cassovita are heavy enough to satisfy purists, but beautiful enough to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Four stars out of five.