Album Review: Fall of the Leafe – Aerolithe
Artist: Fall of the Leafe (Finland)
Album: Aerolithe (2007)
Genre: Hard Rock / Gothic Metal (?)
Reviewers tend to review material that is new, or at least relatively so. It’s kinda how the music industry works. Or whatever other industry you consider really. If it’s new it has to be sold. Once stuff gets old it goes on discount and nobody cares much anymore. But I don’t mind breaking that rule if it’s for a good cause. What we’ve got today isn’t new, or even relatively new, unless, perhaps, when you’re a billion years old and you’re balder than a Baboon’s arse.
Fall of the Leafe last released an album in 2007, which they titled Aerolithe. About two months ago we wrote a brief issue of our “Rockin’ Out with” series about them. That discovery triggered me to order the album. It took a century and a half to get here, because obviously it’s kinda obscure outside of Finland, the band’s home ground, especially in a Lady-Gaga-loving nation like The Netherlands. It got here eventually though, and it’s every bit as satisfying as I had hoped.
The album’s opening track – accurately titled Opening – soon reminds me of Boston, not the city, but the band from the city. In particular of the intro of the song Foreplay/Long Time off their self-titled debut. That was considerably faster and more stimulating of headbanging motion, but both songs feature a similar interplay of keys and guitars; keys doing quicker melodies, while guitars run over in melodic jamming.
It’s a comparison, of Fall of the Leafe to Boston, that you can make at other moments on the album too. In fact, I like to think of the band as the molested kid of Boston. More edgy and aggressive, but still similar to its old man. In melody use, playing style, use of instruments. And I’ll tell you what: it’s good! Very good. Catchy as shit wiped with too thin, inferior quality toilet paper and one to get you right up to steam, whatever the fuck it is you’re doing.
Before I go on with my story, I figured you’d like some music for your ears. Naturally I opted for the – in my ears – best song of the album: Graceful Retreat. Those who know me a little by now will know why: because it’s got a good supply of groove!
If you indeed clicked that ‘play button’, you’re about to find out that singer Tuomas Tuominen sounds a bit like Pearl Jam’s Eddy Vedder. Kinda like Eddy Vedder on steroids, particularly because on occasion, but not often and not very far, the dude will venture into the unclean regions of vocalism. When it does happen I’m excessively pleased, because the deepness of his normal singing voice carries on seamlessly to his rawer unclean voice.
What I’m most pleased with about this album, though, is the attention to songwriting. The band saw no need for ostentatious riffs, leads and solos, but kept it simple stupid. They added nothing more than needed for a track to just feel like Vaseline before a constipated crap: smooth and slick!
With eleven songs adding up to 41 minutes and a bit, Aerolithe isn’t the longest album on the face of the planet, but it does offer a pleasant amount of variation, ranging from rougher songs, such as the one above and Look into Me, to songs that are more gentle and considerate, like At a Breath’s Pace, to stuff that’s more towards the melodic, thrusting attitude of what Boston is, like Minor Nuisance. In short, there’s plenty on offer and for the €8,- I paid for it much more value than I could’ve wished for!
My Grade: 9/10
Buy this when:
- it doesn’t all need to rape your ears per se
- you want to return, if only for a moment, to the time when you still listened to quality Hard Rock
- you’re familiar with the toilet scenes described throughout the review and are looking for something groovy yet smooth and slick