Not that Brian Fair hasn’t been busy since Shadows Fall went on an indefinite hiatus in 2013 from being a full time thing, but hearing him in Downpour is a refreshingly needed and missed aspect in modern metal.
I’m not going to limit it by saying it’s ‘metalcore’, but there’s an old school hardcore element blended in the clearly heavy and metal sound of Downpour. It’s rugged, rough around the edges, melodic, and interesting. There’s even some Post-Metal atmosphere happening, especially in “Truth in Suffering”.
Derek Kerswill has been high on my list of drummers since his days in Seemless. I’d discovered that he’d previously had a stint in Shadows Fall which further piqued my interest in his ability. Then came Kingdom of Sorrow, and Unearth, and then it was solidified that he was as groove orienated as he was technical, and I was fully sold.
So here we are with Downpour, something that’s as comfortably familiar as it is new. I love the production. It’s raw and real as shit, but you hear everything. Brian’s voice is as strong as ever, and his cleans are the best he’s done to date. “Astral Projection” is likely among the best overall performances he’s ever done.
“Still Waiting” is unlike anything you would’ve expected, and is something more along the lines of Soulfly. Very tribal, acoustic, rhythmic. Super pleased to find something like this here. “Mountain” is a pleasant surprise as well, and I’ll leave it at that.
Let me go on record to say that guitarist Matt LeBreton is a killer guitarist and has some bad ass fucking riffs. Bassist Pete Gelles is perfectly locked in, holding down the low end with Derek in the total ass stomping.
Really happy that this is finally coming out, and that it’s a thing at all. I hope to see Downpour go on some decent tours if at all possible, because this would be fantastic to see live.
Definitely higher on my albums of 2018 list for sure!
Reviewed by Marcus Miller