Album: Reissued EP
By default, we have all lied—it’s part of human design and the human condition. As a species, what we have to do is determine where we go from there. Do we come clean, move on and do our best to live better lives? Or do we descent into the pit of our self-created dishonesty, propagating our habits of mistrust and untruth? This is the question for the deceptively named Falsifier. These London-based lords of down-tempo hatred kicked off 2014 with their debut EP—a release that showed promise, but suffered due to lack-luster production. If Falsifier was a lie—a sham—then Reissued is the truth; a re-telling of their debut EP the way it was meant to be shared. Reissued is the sound of Falsifier coming clean and perfecting their sound in the process, replacing promise and potential with excellently executed musical mastery.
Typically when a band releases a re-master or re-issue of an album, the differences are nominal: evident to only the most die-hard of fans. Ultimately, this makes them relatively lack-luster, obvious as filler between releases. This is far from the case with Falsifier’s Reissued. Every injury inflicted from the band’s debut EP is brought back with stunning severity; with every crack of Matt Andrews’ snare drum and ever brooding, brutalizing chug from guitarist Colin Giofu’s immense, dissonant guitar. Together, Giofu and Andrews elaborate upon their already destructive dynamic—taking moments like the climactic breakdown in “Gutless” and redefining it, amplifying its intensity and sending it searing into the listener like a wrecking ball, splitting open the listener’s chest cavity and cracking their ribs, rendering them truly gutless. This destructive dynamic is further beefed-up with the addition of Aaron Dow’s boosted bass tone. “Dead Mind,” as well as the lead single “Gutless” showcase this brilliantly, adding in extraneous slinking, slithering bass fills that swim like mud-covered serpent, winding its way up the listener’s legs, into their mouth and down their throat, filling their lungs with leaden, obscene heaviness.
The renovated musical backdrop that Reissued brings to the table is further built upon by a much-needed vocal restoration. Where Falsifier’s vocals originally fell flat, one-dimensional and lost in an otherwise murky, washy mix, Reissued rises tall, standing above the band’s previous work. Where vocalist Aiden Versteegh was once unintelligible and—for lack of a better term—made boring by botched recording quality, he is no more. Instead, Versteegh is redeemed as a prodigally talented vocalist, rising among the likes of Apex’s Billy Blanton and Traitors’ Tyler Shelton. Versteegh lets loose with a vicious, throat-rending roar that decimates the listener’s eardrums—especially on the climactic prolapse-inducing punishment found in “Gutless,” or in “Immorality,” a song that thoroughly berates the listener with guttural, grimy heaviness. However, the best part of Falsifier’s new vocal recording lies in the fact that each shout and scream in each song is infinitely clearer and improved, making the whole EP sturdier and—certainly—more sinister.
When one holds Falsifier’s self titled EP and Reissued side by side, there is truly no comparison. Reissued is the kind of release that is crushing from beginning to end, thoroughly engaging and still crystal clear. While Falsifier was a strong release, it never would hold up to the test of time simply because of its tinny and abrasive production quality. Reissued cashes in the checks of promise and potential that Falsifier wrote with their debut release. Whether it’s the eerie interlude found in the introduction to “Immorality,” the piercing velocity of “Shallow Grave”’s introduction or the deceptive catchiness of “Deceiver,” Falsifier truly put forth the entirety of their effort on Reissued and it shows, taking a violent experience and upgrading it to psychopathic.
It’s apparent that when it comes to Falsifier, honesty is the best policy. Their refurbished second attempt at down-tempo deathcore and heavy music on Reissued is among the best efforts the genre has seen since its recent upswing in popularity. Falsifier have put forth an EP that belongs next to the likes of Black Tongue, Traitors and Beneath the Veil in the halls of low and slow deathcore fame, providing a true testament to the integrity of the genre.
For Fans Of: Traitors, False Images, Black Tongue, Irrita, Beneath the Veil
By: Connor Welsh