The Crossfire is the fourth album for German death metal band Fall of Serenity. After 2006’s Bloodred Salvation they lost vocalist Renè Betzold, so former bassist John Gahlert has taken over on vocals. This shift also led to guitar player Alex Fischer switching to bass and the introduction of new guitarist Ferdinand Rewicki. The lineup changes haven’t significantly altered the band’s sound, though. They remain heavy, loud, and fast. Gahlert’s vocals (in English) are the typical death metal growl/scream and Fischer’s bass is completely buried in the mix, normal for this subgenre of metal. Drummer Lutz Einenkel’s playing is above-average and somewhat interesting, though, only occasionally falling into the standard double bass-under-blast beats pattern that so many other metal drummers use. Meanwhile, guitarists Rewicki and Eddy Langher churn out piles of chunky riffs. Every so often, an ‘80s style melodic solo bursts free or the guitarists harmonize on a lead. It’s almost enough to make you think that if Fall of Serenity really wanted to, they could do something creative with their music. They seem content to stick with heavy, fast, and chunky, though. That’s probably enough for the band to make a living on, but not enough to make them stand out among their peers.
// Notes from the Road
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