The Duskfall
~reviewed by Eric Rasmussen

Around this time last year, I reviewed The Duskfall's debut, Frailty. The following list from my previous review sums it up well.

Band: The Duskfall
Genre: Swedish Melodic Death Metal
Guitars: Fast, bouncy riffs and dual-lead guitar harmonies
Drums: Standard metal drumming
Bass: What? Where? Straining can reveal a distant bass rumble, which may or may not be Odin growling his disapproval for the 436th melodic death metal album.
Vocals: Raspy, throat-tearing yells
Rank within SMDM: Slightly above average, good mix of riffs
Sole Distinguishing feature: All solos courtesy of Swedish guitar virtuoso, Magnus Olsson

So, you ask, what's changed since last time? Let's see. They're still known as The Duskfall. Still playing SMDM. Same guitar and drums, but with louder bass. Oh! This is now the 672nd melodic death metal album, and Magnus Olsson isn't here for a guest appearance. I also think that The Duskfall have moved up in their ranking, from "slightly above average" to "well above average". Source is very standard SMDM, but it's got crushing production, cool and tasteful solos, kickass riffs, and many more memorable leads than Frailty.

I still don't have much to say about The Duskfall, but I can give them a hearty recommendation to the SMDM fan. The music is well played, expertly produced, and at times memorable and catchy. Kai Jaakkola (who has a really cool name, by the way) has improved a great deal as a vocalist, and you almost get the sense that he's really singing beneath the haze of distorted growls and rasps. There's an uncommonly musical quality to his anger.

The Duskfall is competing against bands like Dark Tranquillity and At The Gates for the "top dogs of classic SMDM" position, and while they haven't scaled the mountain yet, they're high enough up to stand out from the armies of Swedish melodic death metallers camped at the base of the mountain, roasting goat flesh and wondering why no one ever buys their CDs. I think I'd be happier if more of these bands took Soilwork's lead in crafting a more unique sound full of personality, but perhaps there will always be a place for the traditional SMDM style. As long as there is, you're much better off listening to The Duskfall than most.

Track List:
1) Case Closed
2) Striving to Have Nothing
3) The Grand Scheme
4) Source
5) Not a Good Sign
6) Guidance
7) Lead Astray
8) The Destroyer

The Duskfall is:
Kai Jaakkola - vocals
Mikael Sandorf - guitars
Joachem Lendback - guitars
Kaj Molin - bass
Oskar Karlsson - drums

The Duskfall - Official Site:

Black Lotus Records:

The End Records (US):