False Gods – The Serpent and the Ladder

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label URL: Independent
Released: 2019
Buy Album: ???
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/falsegods1/

Band line-up:

Greg March – Guitar
Mike Stack – Vox
Paulie Stack – Drums
Johnny Geirak – Bass
Nick Luisi – Leads

Tracklisting:

1. The Ladder
2. The Serpent

Review:

False Gods are a progressive metal band, who will be releasing their latest EP ‘The Serpent and the Ladder’ on 19th April. It is a concept album about vivid fever dreams and the blurring of reality and fantasy when one experiences them. It is also a doom-laden experience which is more evolved than their previous efforts. Furthermore, the two songs on the release are psychedelic yet murky and are with lots of low end. The band state that they are ‘their darkest, their heaviest, most experimental and at times most melodic’ tracks yet.

The album may have doom influences, but don’t be confused: It is more depressing than it is evil or frightening. It kind of has the same tone as Tool at their bleakest (think ‘Schism’). In terms of material, FG sounds nothing like the band, although they do sometimes write their own style of similarly intelligent and thoughtful ideas. They sound more like the eerily colourful avant-garde doomers Dolorian in places.

The pieces on this album develop rather well, in that they are filled with complexity, power and morbid passion and ideas come, go and transform at just the right moments. The guitar riffs are reasonable in terms of creating certain moods and have far more to than mere power chords. The mild distortion on them (relatively speaking) makes arpeggios and full harmonies sound aggressive and harsh rather than messy and incomprehensible, which is all good. However, those riffs aren’t exactly catchy. In addition, the vocal melodies are kind of boring as they are very limited in range. It would have been great if they took focus away from the backing more for the sake of variety, instead of the backing being more important.

In conclusion, this is not a bad effort, though it is kind of dull in places. The singer adds to the overall mood of bleakness rather that providing truly well thought out tunes that compliment the rest of the band, and whilst the production is murky as they claim, it may not be as forceful and well polished as you may like. If you like your music a little rawer, however, it may be right up your street. Give it a listen or more, but don’t get your hopes up too much.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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