Metalism album review of ‘The Failing Light', September 2005
[View the article on Metalism's website here]   [Metalism]

Having seen Season's End live twice now, at the Thirteenth Day festival and then at Bloodstock UK Metalfest, I was extremely excited about receiving their new album compliments of Dave. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, but below is an account of one true musical experience.

"The Failing Light" features 6 tracks of what can only be comfortably stated as their own style of progressive metal. 6 tracks may seem like very little, but the fact that the tracks amount to 50 minutes shows that these guys weren't skimping on anything. Now to move on to whether the quality matches the quantity.

A slow, reflective, atmospheric intro eases you in to the album. This is followed shortly by a comparatively heavy guitar riff that proves instantly that Season's End are not afraid to experiment with style. As soon as Becki's voice kicks in, all fears of another samey female fronted "goth" band go very much to shreds. She has a truly beautiful voice that never ceases to amaze, and her slow, harmonious words contrast fantastically with the heavier, faster guitar riffs of David and Daryl. To compliment these features further, there are some much slower aspects of "Touch", including some brilliantly slow-paced solos that get right down in to your very soul.

Ghost in my Emotion
This song is a keyhole view in to the future of Season's End. David proves himself as a competent vocalist as he sings brilliantly on his own, and his style is perfect for the music. As well as this, he shares vocals with Becki for much of the song and their voices mix fluidly making for a great sound. The riffs and vocals are very catchy, and having listened to the song countless times since receiving the album several days ago just demonstrates what a flawless track it is. As well as these features, the atmosphere created by Dave on keyboards and the great bass work of Tom really shine through here. "Ghost in my Emotion" is a song that nobody will forget in a hurry, and is reason enough to buy the album.

One Sadness
Much of this track slows down considerably from the previous tracks, but it is a nice change and includes some really powerful vocals from Becki. Later we are treated to more clean, remarkable vocals from David, when the track speeds up a little for a small portion of time before heading back in to a more gloomy tone. The drum work from Paul makes a great beat to bang your head to also, especially when mixed with the great guitar riffs. A lot of emotion has clearly gone in to the writing of this track and it pays off greatly

The shortest track on the album at 5:09, "Innocence" is an incredible song with its focus on mournful piano work and slow, more operatic vocals. Again, there is a great amount of emotion packed in to it, and makes it more enjoyable and real to listen to. There is little else I can say to describe "Innocence" except that the only way to identify with its brilliance and beauty is to listen to it yourself.

Nothing After All
This is a much more upbeat track than the others, and has a great drum beat to nod your head to. Much of Becki's vocals are sharper and provide yet more variety to the music, as well as David bringing a more aggressive touch to his voice. There is a more obvious chorus to other tracks and makes you feel a bit more involved with the music. The mix of slower, haunting vocals and guitars with fast paced heavy drum, bass and guitar work is more apparent than any other song on the album, and adds a great edge to the music. An awesome song.

The guitar intro to "Celestia" has a much more sinister feel to it, and is reflective of much of the overall feel of the track. A really atmospheric piece of music made brilliant by the epic vocal twinning of Becki and David that sounds even better than previously. The guitar solo sounds brilliant and fits the song brilliantly. The whole band pouring everything they have in to the music makes this closing track really special.

Ghost in my Emotion (video)
The video of this brilliant track is deeply emotional and puts a visual story to the music. It's well worth watching and has a great haunting feel to it. A nice extra to this version of the CD and a greatly shot video that deserves much credit.

This has been a difficult review to write on the grounds that "The Failing Light" by Season's End is a roller coaster ride of emotion, passion, musical talent, hybridisation of genres, variety and just plain brilliance. For a debut album I have heard nothing that matches this standard in many years, and this isn't even usually my preferred metal listening style. If you like this sort of thing, and even if you don't usually, I'm telling you to support one of the greatest up and coming British bands in metal and buy this album. This is as close to perfect as debuts get.

This album surpassed all my expectations and completely blew me away. It is well worth the 9/10 I am giving it, and the only reason its not higher is because these guys are only going to get better!

9 out of 10

Chris Greenaway of Metalism

Debut Album
The Failing Light

The Failing Light

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