Artist: Fallacy Era
Album: Ganesha – EP
Insincerity is a rampant plague in the contemporary music scene. At its most superficial, it appears as trend-hopping bands who blasted and riffed when fast-and-pissed deathcore was the name of the game, only to drop to a snail’s pace when downtempo took over—and they are probably the same bands who are now infusing nu-metal bounce and groove wherever they can fit it to make it with the “hot” sound these days. Insincerity extends more deeply as bands that preach problems, faiths and philosophies that are not their own—corrupting the integrity of the scene they claim such valiant dedication to. Enter Fallacy Era—a band motivated by a sound of metalcore from years past, combining bone-busting breakdowns with catchy harmonies, crooned clean choruses and electrifying synthesizer leads that most heavy music enthusiasts probably left in their “scene” phase. With their aptly named debut, Ganesha, these Michigan metalcore marauders find success in staying true to a sound that truly becomes them.
Ganesha is a quick, crushing release that depends on a frantic, energetic foundation to send it cascading into the listener’s head. This is done atop the work of drummer Michael Padlo. Padlo’s punishing percussion is laden with dizzying fills, dancy two-steps and pummeling kick drum patterns that give Fallacy Era plenty of room to range from jarring and jostling to soothing and soaring. “Corrupt” is an excellent example of the former—with Padlo working side by side with bassist Vince Vargas to shatter the listener’s spine with demonic levels of dissonance. The EP’s title track is another story, however, as Padlo and Vargas serve as firmament from which guitarist Daniel McCall can blossom with catchy, intriguing riffs that blend into brutalizing chugs at the drop of a hat. While Fallacy Era’s traditional instrumentalists don’t offer anything groundbreaking to the band’s dynamic, keys player and programmer Freddy Williams breaks the mold. Williams reaches into yesteryear to bring back catchy synth lines to lay over barbaric grooves and simple, dazzling keys to add to moments of peace. Heard throughout the EP, Williams’ most notable contributions add to the release-defining breakdown in “Corrupt,” or the scintillating introduction to “This is the End.”
Fallacy Era take contemporary, abrasive metal and hardcore and combine it with a series of slightly softer, more ethereal and poppy undertones, giving the listener something that sounds similar to if 2008’s Attack Attack! hit puberty. Vocally, Ganesha stays true to its promising instrumental ingredients. Frontman Steven Dechausse leads the quintet’s charge into the listener’s ears with grating, shrill screams that range from bitter, piercing shrieks to surly, solemn low growls. Dechausse—talented though he is—is not alone, as he is backed by Williams to provide crucial moments of dual-vocal devastation and sparsely placed cleanly sung and soaring choruses. “Ganesha” showcases this excellently—as the track’s climax beautifully contrasts Dechausse’s driving, low bellows against crooned singing. Meanwhile, “Corrupt” highlights the band’s bare-knuckle roots, with gang-chanting and malevolent mid-range yells that send the song roaring along like a bat out of Hell.
Fallacy Era combine a nostalgic style of heavy-soft metalcore with flashes of brilliant modern production and a cavalcade of varied influences and dynamics to let it truly stand out from a variety of 2015’s same-sounding “heavy” acts. “Korriban” curiously blends soothing, soft keys with abysmally low growls in a manner that defies convention, while “Corrupt” takes a beatdown-styled series of breakdowns and gives them a border of soft focus and appeal to those who aren’t as involved in the crowd-kill culture. While Fallacy Era does this very well on Ganesha, there are moments that do fall flat—for example, the out-of-place cleanly sung bridge at the climax of the EP’s title track, or the lengthy build up to the apex of “Korriban” feel more like they disrupt the flow of the release. Meanwhile, however, “Breathing Life” is an excellent example of hurricane-intensity hardcore guilded with electronic effects, and “Corrupt” is one of the strongest stand-alone tracks to grace metalcore this year. Ganesha is a collection of excellent tracks with only few moments of glaring disjuncture—making it a resounding and sincere success for such a young band.
For Fans Of: Like Moths to Flames, Barrier, Northlane, A Righteous Downfall
By: Connor Welsh