Ohio's Siegelord, mostly made up of former members of Winterhymn, play a version of melodic death metal with a heavy dose of synths. It's Viking inspired, maybe a little like Amon Amarth though closer to their early era material. I also think it has a little more depth to it than some of Amon Amarth's recent material has had. These guys just don't jump to a chorus and reiterate it twenty times through, they actually give the music a chance to breathe and offer song structure, rather than pure filler. Let's face it, Johan Hegg can write lyrics about baking a cake, as long as he can cap it with a catchy chorus. Well, you don't find that with Siegelord. Sometimes these guys won't even utilize a chorus if they don't need to. Again, we get atmospheres and great vocal performances partnered with potent and memorable melodies. When I listen to Ascent Of The Fallen, I find that I enjoy certain sections of each piece rather than just a chorus number. I try to utilize the same thing in my own band and show that yes, you don't need a good chorus to sell a song.
One complaint that I have with Siegelord though, is that some of the keyboard sections are just a little too low in the mix. I can see that they're trying, but the guitars and vocals really drown those almost completely out. There also aren't a lot of solo sections here, sans maybe a couple of tracks. But that's a pretty minor complaint, especially when the band is opting for more structure and less choral filler. They also seem to prioritize spoken word sections quite a bit, which will either enhance or kill the performance, depending on the listener. Additionally, Ascent Of The Fallen also contains a few instrumental synth pieces, which add a bit more depth to the recording. Considering that this is the band's first release after only being together for three years, I'm quite impressed with the amount of skill and the level of musicianship put on display here. It's surprisingly well-crafted and caught my ear within the first listen. To say that there's promise here is a mere understatement. I have a feeling that only the best is yet to come from these guys, as they only get better with more time and exploration. Could we really be looking at the next Amon Amarth, Graveworm or Wintersun? Perhaps. But I'll leave that for you to decide.
(12 Tracks, 62:00)