If you have any interest in rock music and don’t live under a rock without an internet connection you will have noticed that a band called The Fallen State have started to make a bit of a name for themselves. Personally I had only heard a couple of little snippets of their music but that was enough to make me want to hear more and ultimately get this review done. Plus I had it on very authority that it would be worth it. But before I go any further I should probably give you a bit of background info.
The Fallen State are Ben Stenning (Vocals) Jon Price (Guitar) Dan Oke (Guitar) Greg Butler (Bass) and Rich Walker (Drums) Formed in autumn last year individually the band have graced the same stages as the likes of Alter Bridge and Heavens Basement which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t a bad thing to have on your CV. These guys are also nothing if not prolific, their debut EP was released in April, and this, their current record was released at the end of last month.
I have spoken often (Some will say too often) about how hype around artists makes me nervous and sceptical because what if the artist isn’t actually that good? However I am pleased to say that in this case I really shouldn’t have worried. This record is a beautifully ear splitting reminder as to why I fell in love with rock music in the first place.
The opening track ‘Burn It To The Ground’ is the perfect introduction to the band and demonstrates what makes them so damn good. After a short build up you are fired straight into a huge riff that will have you nodding your head with appreciation. The big sell for these guys (At least to the more mainstream and casual fan) though is the fact that they love a big anthemic chorus. After a couple of listens you will be screaming the hook into the air believing that you are in front of 90,000 at Wembley, it’s just massive. Briefly everything drops away leaving space of a small guitar solo and creating an explosion when the main riff and monstrous drums kick back in. It’s quite an opening statement.
‘Set Me Free’ is slightly lower key through the verses showcasing the vocal ability of Stenning and he isn’t found wanting. But it’s not long before the mega riffs return in the form of a bridge to the chorus which again is built for stadiums. There’s a touch of Papa Roach mixed with a small helping of Shinedown so far and as a big fan of both bands this mix makes me kind of warm and fuzzy inside. The duel guitars from Price and Oke pack a huge punch that will have you testing your relationship with your neighbours. There is no way that you can listen to this lot quietly. There is even time for a bit of a classic rock guitar solo before things wind to an end… *And breathe*
The intro to final track ‘Rise’ is punctuated by a pounding drum beat that kicks you straight in the chest before you are thrown into a whirlwind of guitar based chaos. The central riff is fantastically heavy as the vocal from Stenning powers over the top. The vocal has real echoes of Musical Outcast favourite Marty De Mona’s Louis Hale, in the way in the way that it soars over the instrumental madness below. Overall the track is more of the same from the band, a big chorus, great guitar work and drums that hit so hard that they leave a dent in everything they come into contact with.
‘II’ is the first project that I have heard from the Fallen State and I can safely say that it won’t be the last. For hard rock fans it ticks all of the boxes; great vocals, big riffs, anthemic choruses and an awesome rhythm section. From a geeky standpoint the production is also brilliant, it’s crisp and clear and has great balance. This record is nigh on flawless, the only negative is that there isn’t more of it. The Fallen State have been touted for big things and on this evidence they may just achieve them.
‘II’ Is out now