The second EP from melodic metal six-piece Cinders Fall - their first release since 2006 - has already got them compared to In Flames and a bunch of Swedish death and thrash scene-starters.
While it’s a bit early for those comparisons (‘The Reckoning ’ is not going to start a new genre), the Essex boys can easily be put alongside other rising UK acts such as death metal favourites Trigger The Bloodshed and the bombastic and technical Xerath - who both got signed to respected metal labels (Metal Blade and Candlelight, respectively) by the time they got to recording albums.
Cinders Fall could certainly build themselves a profile like Trigger’s, though. CF are not the most brutal metal band around, sticking to the melodic rather than thrashy side of things, with flourishes piano and guitar solos that are as much post-hardcore as metal on ‘Dead Zone’ or ‘The Reckoning’. Neither is singer Anthony Masters’ voice as inaccessible as other DM frontmen’s - he’s a growler but his lyrics are easily decipherable.
Often the lyrics on ‘The Reckoning’ are more interesting than the music, as on ‘The Sorrow’ and ‘Beyond Existence’, which are stodgy, lacklustre and with blast beats that just aren’t explosive enough. On the lyric sheet, however, there is ancient mythology, bizarre war cries, angsty self-help and, on ‘The Sorrow’, unexpected spirituality that wouldn’t be amiss on a ‘white metal’ (Christian metal that sounds like black metal) song. “Let the heavens rain their redemption,” Masters snarls. “I will greet the day with elation/When I’m cleansed of your sins.” It’s a slightly baffling moment on an otherwise forgettable EP.