Sound — 8
I've been listening to Rise to Fall ever since they were recommended to me on Spotify a couple of years ago while listening to other melodic death metal artists such as Disarmonia Mundi, In Flames and Engel. Rise to Fall, originally from Spain (shocker these guys aren't Swedish.) released their first album "Restore the Balance" in 2010. The band didn't receive a decent amount of attention until they released their second album "Defying the Gods" in 2012. The second album was actually the first one I heard, and while I loved the album when I reviewed it, the album did suffer in one major aspect: it was pretty damn repetitive. Don't get me wrong, the songs are fairly distinguishable from one another, but many elements felt copied and pasted throughout a majority of the album.
"End vs. Beginning," the band's third album confronts this problem head on and features much more variety than the second album. I can honestly say the vocals are much more varied, the guitar riffs are more recognizable (though they do sometimes suffer the same problem as the riffs in "Defying the Gods" by being pretty simple and samey), solos are more prominent and exciting and the mix overall gives off this very epic and dynamic metal sound; filled and exploding with great melody.
Lyrics — 7
I have never really given Rise to Fall credit for outstanding lyrics, and my definition of outstanding is something that can actually make me feel genuine emotion and connection to what the vocalist is singing about. This still applies to "End vs. Beginning" overall, but Rise to Fall always just have this ability to somehow make every song feel like a journey or an epic ordeal. So while I won't be singing with tears in my eyes, I will be shouting like a warrior in a "Mad Max" movie or yodeling like a drunk homeless man who happened to be near a good radio station for once.
Without the vocals, the album would be pretty simple and maybe even slightly repetitive, but this album overall is still a big improvement compared to previous efforts. It's a fun journey listening to this entire album, and something I've been doing daily since it came out.
Overall Impression — 7
I'd like to think of Rise to Fall as I do of Disarmonia Mundi; they are not bands that are looking to blow everyone away, nor are they looking to innovate in the growing genre of melodic death metal. There won't be much to knock your socks off and make you reevaluate everything you've listened to thus far, but you can always rely on these artists to make really good songs that you enjoy regardless.
I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who likes this genre of music. My favorite tracks would have to be: "End vs. Beginning," "Murk Empire," "Against All Odds," "Emptiness." And yes, I would buy this album again if it was ever lost or stolen.