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Fallen Joy - "Order to Die" (CD/EP)

Fallen Joy - "Order to Die" CD/EP cover image

"Order to Die" track listing:

1. Morituri Te Salutant
2. Order to Die
3. Hoisting the Black Flag
4. Seeds of Tyranny
5. Voyage Au Bout De La Nuit

Reviewed by on February 7, 2012

"As the band's first release, this is a very polished endeavor that fans of classic metal with leanings toward thrash should check out."

"Order to Die" is the debut EP from from French metal band Fallen Joy. It was released a few years back, well before the 2011 full-length "Inner Supremacy," and is now seeing more exposure than when it was initially put out in Europe. Now re-issued, "Order to Die" should provide little surprise musically to fans of last year's album.

This EP of five songs is made even more brief considering that one of the tracks is an intro. That song, "Morituri Te Salutant," is a decent gateway into the actual songs to come with its large symphonic sound and pealing bells. Fallen Joy gets down to the business of shredding in a polished, classic metal style. Antoine Brisson executes layers of leads in the title track, but yet keeps them simple and never too over-indulgent. He does like to catapult into solos during the instrumental breaks in the songs, though. The band utilizes dual vocals to different degrees on the EP, especially notable in this song. Primary vocalist/guitarist Victor Gallot-Lavallee trades off with bassist/vocalist Julien Rousseau in what is an interesting dichotomy of rasp and growl.

As "Order to Die" gets underway, Fallen Joy makes use of structural breaks to create a mood and give the song a dose of variety. Dual vocals, thunder and drum staccato punctuate "Hoisting the Black Flag," which conveys its pensive mood through minimal leads, which only accent the percussion. Sometimes those leads, especially in the mid-section, do get repetitive and need to show some more variety. In this song and others, it seems as if there's a continual loop of these lead flourishes over and over.

"Seeds of Tyranny" at least shows variety in how it begins with respect to the guitar before settling into a pummeling pace for a portion of the song. If the EP has a mood song, it would possibly be the final track, "Voyage Au Bout De La Nuit," which goes through a labyrinth of distinct passages. The vocals take on a solemn tone amidst the beginning atonal strains from the fret. The underlying vocals and rhythm alternate from screams to the more subdued, giving this track enough to pique one's interest.

"Order to Die" was the predecessor to Fallen Joy's debut album, and the band has made strides in terms of sound since this release. As the band's first release, this is a very polished endeavor that fans of classic metal with leanings toward thrash should check out.

Highs: Rich sound and decent song structure

Lows: Guitar segments get a bit repetitious

Bottom line: "Order To Die" is a good predecessor to last year's "Inner Supremacy"

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)