Review – Falsifier: Life in Death

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  • Bio: "Described as dissonant, dismal and dome-splittingly heavy, it is the music of Falsifier—lords of lurid aggression hailing from London, Ontario." - Facebook
  • Label: Self-release (2015), Artery Recordings (2016)
  • Release Date: July 17th, 2015 / May 13th, 2016
  • Genre: Deathcore
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Back in 2013, Falsifier stormed onto the Canadian metal scene with a self-titled EP, as well as a music video for their song “86”. They then released the Charles Manson inspired EP Malevolent, as well as I Am Death in 2014. Both of these singles were taken from their then forthcoming follow-up EP Life In Death, which was issued in 2015. For 2016, that latest effort received a proper re-issue treatment through Artery Recordings, the label which they are currently signed to. But if you missed out the first time around, does this recording, or the band in general, present anything worth taking note of?

Life In Death wastes little time in presenting itself as another entry into the world of overly long and insanely slow-paced breakdown filled deathcore, but this time around it does seem to hold some merit for its existence. The atmosphere presented is dark and often ominous as it establishes a murderous intent from track to track, incorporating audio clips discussing the topic of violence or dialogue/testimony during trial, which is what appears at the start of “Life In Death”. The slow burning start is met with creepy leads and deeply tuned one chord chugs with matching bass notes on par with early Whitechapel, an obvious influence to the group’s sound this time around as the performance carries on. The track itself takes the aforementioned modern Deathcore ideals and slaps them into a burdening doom metal template, leaving a wake of unease in the performance’s respectable path of destruction.

That presence does come into play throughout the latter five tracks as well, keeping with what seems like a loose conceptual effort in order to maintain the atmosphere without coming off like one extended introductory piece after another. “Burial Grounds” throws some slight technicality into the mix to add a hint of hardcore authority before coming to the next creeping slam that is technically cast into motion three times. The later two are just short bouts, though the latter instantly feels like overkill before the pulsing climax that connects this and “Malevolent”, the EP’s crowning achievement. Intensity, faster paced riffs that reflect that point, and subtle hints of melody that appear about two minutes in really amp up the overall surge of adrenaline the band is capable of injecting into their material. Yes, this one concludes with yet another slam, but its brief and the echoes felt on the crashing from the drum kit wraps things up like a proper conclusion in slam format.

“I Am Death” pushes that sleek, digital quality further, all the while holding a distinct darkness to some of the slower passages. Meanwhile there’s the heavier death metal verses, which all feel like business as usual at first, but are put off enough by the sound of the bass guitar that clashes just slightly to the point of nauseating. Eventually you hit the uneasy breakdown approaching three minutes in with layered rasps over the hardcore growling, and what worked in the title track fails to hit at all here. Much like the build up to it, while effective in manipulating emotions, it all ends up more like filler with no clear-cut direction behind it, existing only to reach this particular point of an incredibly long conclusion that comes off even more ineffective as the eeriness it goes for simply doesn’t connect the way it’s clearly intended to. That sentiment can also be shared with “Human Filth”, another creeping piece that tries to put the listener on edge, but is only really memorable for the sudden surge of two-step speed not long after the one minute mark.

FalsifierLife in Death is an EP that has so much going right for it as far as the concepts utilized are concerned that you might glance over the fact that behind those brilliant choices is a good chunk of traditional modern deathcore material that doesn’t always impress. Falsifier show they can work in moody and intense atmospheres with a genuine doom metal touch within their slams or breakdowns. However, some tracks just seem to be misguided or composed of passages that exist only to reach said slam or breakdown, not to mention even beat the dead horse back to life then directly into the grave more than once in the span of a minute-and-a-half. Yes, Falsifier easily fall into the category of heavy given when they get it right on here, it’s just non-stop bludgeoning from start to finish that leaves you looking over your shoulder when all is said and done. Sadly, there’s more wrong in execution that leaves Life In Death something less than memorable, but still worth checking out while its free to download through Artery Recordings at THIS LOCATION.

Digital review copy of this release provided by Artery Recordings.