Doom and death metal have always been among the favorite and dominant acts among the local scene. Just look at the plethora of bands, both active and inactive, which gave their fair share in applying their craft within the confines of the scene, and even contributed in help developing such community. As metal progressed and started incorporating further whims within other genres, so did younger Maltese bands, as they too evoked the need to bolster further horizons, inspired by their (and ours too) favorite acts.
This is the story of Fallen Icon, an emerging and energetic trio of young lions, with a mind set at both exercising the passion they love and also set their mark within the scene. Individually, they all had their fair share of musical involvements, which may not have been necessarily been just within the metal scene. Such experience though is never deemed futile, the further a musician can expand and experiment, the more one can mature individually and be more compact as a band itself.
The band has been active circa 2010, and as more gigs started coming in their way, the tighter they became, both musically and personally. My first experience with Fallen Icon came at XMA 2013. It was a scorching, summery day but this did not alienate me from exploring younger bands and listen to what they had to offer. Even then, with the heatwave and all, I immediately felt this band had so much potential, with its groovy influences much akin to bands such as early stages Mastodon, High on Fire and even a touch of Gojira.
I was immediately infatuated with their material, it was something refreshing and modern at the time, and I knew this band was serious enough to be more than just your regular flavor of the month. I would confirm all this the moment I made acquaintance with its members and by time, became good friends with them, as a modest following started accumulated. It was a matter of time, coupled with a lot of hard work and energy (which they never lacked), before they would enter studio and give us a hard copy rendition of their craft. 2015, out comes their first EP entitled ‘’North Of Nowhere’’
Exploring esoteric themes such as darkness, philosophy and fate, North of Nowhere couldn’t be any stronger and convincing as a debut for the band. Nothing earth shattering, yet the structure is made in a compelling way such that it abides to any situation for the listener, whether you’re in a need of some heavy shit in order to decompress from a lousy day at work, accompanying you during a workout or simply sparing some time listening to some good music. A concoction of 5, unforgiving tracks (6 if you count the suiting epilogue that is Calm Before The Storm) which display the utmost finesse of this trio. Vicious guitars tuned down to drop C and B#, precision drumming and hefty bass lines, a trinity of soul siphoning rhythm, easy to the ear, coupled with an absolute production and well defined vocals is everything you need to enjoy a great record.
Hard to pick any favorite from this EP, as no track can be considered bland or mundane. Just sit back and be amazed. The title track is a perfect opener of what wickedness may become, bridging a sweet and mellow melodic part, back to an amazing crescendo. ‘’Through Sludge and Misery’’ is one of the bands core strengths and perhaps of the slower tracks, which intensifies the solidity behind the band as not being a one trick pony. ‘’Damnation’’ can be considered one of their fans favorite, also releasing a video eventually, being one of the most intense tracks of the EP, exploiting inner struggle of mankind’s wrongdoing, one can feel the emotion being portrayed by each member.
Exceptional. Their progression and open minded attitude will work wonders for the future, as already proved in the gigantic steps made from their inception. A group of friends well deserving of a chance to make it big and of course, fans of the genre themselves, always indulging themselves in the scene whilst trying to make it happen, never being complacent. An EP well worth your attention, especially if you’re into more groove oriented bands. Will be definitely looking forward for more material in future endeavors.