If Shadows Fall, Unearth and Pantera had a baby, you’d get Downpour. Formed in 2015, the band features Brian Fair of Shadows Fall/Overcast/Hell Night/ex-Death Ray Vision and Derek Kerswill ex-Unearth/ex-Seemless and is rounded out by Pete Gelles and Matt LeBreton. Knowing the history with Brian and Derek, fans can expect a blend of their previous efforts for sure, while still experiencing a different paced style than some of their earlier metalcore influenced projects. The band had played a show or 2 locally in New England and then and it seemed as if the project disappeared. While the album was recorded in 2015, it didn’t surface until this year with the band opening a pledge campaign.
Make no mistake about it, this is a metal release full of all of the dynamics you’d expect and possibly exceed your expectations. It was a bit of an adjustment at first to leave some of your preconceived judgments of Brian’s other hundred or so projects and try to find unique things here but after the album rips into the first track “The Serpents Tongue” goes right for the jugular with a heavy chug almost reminiscent of early Meshuggah. The guitar solos here are really a treat, it sounds as if Dimebag Darrell sat down and took a few lessons from John Pertrucci, very clean ripping with tons of character, which are worth the listen alone. “Truth in Suffering” offers a deep slugging tom drum intro while “Astral Projection” offers a more slower tempo’d feel of a Shadows Fall song, opening with a melodic intro turning heavier towards the end. “…Still Waiting” serves more as a transitional track intersplicing atmospheric keyboards with layers of acoustic and clean guitars. “Beautiful Nothing” comes in slow, but has a beautiful melodic mid section with a great progressive pattern riff wise on the guitar that sounds a bit like something Devin Townsend or Mike Mckenzie of the Red Chord might interject. “Without Fear” recalls a lot of the energy that the opening track gave you. The album closes out with an uplifting cover song “Mountain” which really is a lot more laid back atmospheric metal-ized version of a rock song. Brian complements this track well with some of his classic clean singing we all love him for.
As far as the length of the album it’s 7 songs and 37+ minutes of music. Aside from 2 songs, the rest offer varying different paces and never seemingly fall into traps of sounding like the previous. I’m not sure if we’ll ever here more of this project due to multiple band commitments of the individual members, but after a listen you wouldn’t mind hearing more.
Notable Tracks: Beautiful Nothing, The Serpent’s Tongue, Truth In Suffering