What would you do if you could cross Judas Priest with Iron Maiden? Would you take on the responsibility of trying to make metal music as timeless as those two heavy metal giants? It takes a brave band to try that. Distant Past seem to have taken on the responsibility with their upcoming Rise of the Fallen album.
The comparisons I make of Distant Past and Judas Priest lie in the vocals. Rise of the Fallen features two vocalists: Jvo Julmy and guest vocalist Thomas Winkler. Because Rise of the Fallen seems to be a bit of a concept album (though I haven’t listened quite closely enough to figure out exactly what the story is) Thomas takes the role of “The Son of God” and Jvo takes on the role of “The Fallen Angel”. Thankfully the first lines of opening track “Masters of Duality” introduce the characters. Lines like “I am the Light…I am the incarnated soul of the lord” help me know which vocalist to match with which voice. Therefore, I can say that Thomas Winkler‘s voice almost completely resembles Rob Halford‘s mid-octave voice. Jvo‘s voice isn’t quite as distinctive, but it does have a bit of a Bruce Dickinson feeling to it.
The Iron Maiden comparison comes more thanks to Distant Past‘s music, with their usage of dual guitars and the dungeons and dragons-like sound these songs have. “Scriptural Truth” best resembles the spirit of a song by either of the two heavy metal giants, but more so that of an Iron Maiden song, but other songs such as “Redemption” (which has my favourite guitar solo on the album) and the very well crafted “The Road To Golgotha” do a good job at giving Rise of the Fallen an intelligent classic metal sound.
The problem with Rise of the Fallen is in its less significant songs. When listening to it from beginning to end, it starts off strong with its first three tracks “Masters of Duality”, “Die As One” and “End of the World” but by the fourth track “Ark of the Saviour” it starts to sound similar. What doesn’t help that specific song is the feeling that something is off with a couple of the vocal harmonies. Distant Past follow these four songs with the three previously mentioned songs that I spoke highly of, which manage to gain my interest again, but after that the album goes back to falling into a generic metal sound that certainly doesn’t sound bad, but it also doesn’t sound significant.
Distant Past manage to impress me with the strong heads on their shoulders. Making a concept album is always a bold thing to do, especially for a lesser known band, but I think they handle themselves well on Rise of the Fallen which makes the album one that I don’t think I’ll forget anytime soon.
“Scriptural Truth” – Part of the reason I pick this as the highlight is because I feel it’s the best song on Rise of the Fallen, but I also like it as the highlight because it best captures both the Judas Priest and Iron Maiden influences all in one song.
7 (Out of 10)
|1.||Masters of Duality||5:04|
|2.||Die As One||3:05|
|3.||End of the World||4:55|
|4.||Ark of the Saviour||4:19|
|7.||The Road To Golgotha||5:05|
|10.||By The Light of the Morning Star||5:08|