Self Exile

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Europe, in the '90s and the 21st century, has seen the rise of quite a few progressive metal/power metal artists who long for a bygone era: unapologetically retro headbangers who worship Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Ronnie James Dio as devoutly as they worship Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis, and ELP -- headbangers who are devoid of alternative metal influences and have no interest in emulating Slipknot, Mushroomhead, or Limp Bizkit even though they are in the same demographic. But Wastefall demonstrate that having a strong interest in both progressive rock and metal does not necessarily mean embracing a totally pre-'90s aesthetic. Self Exile (Wastefall's first album for Sensory and third album overall) is best described as alternative metal with strong prog rock leanings and some power metal appreciation as well; for this Greek outfit, the chug-chug of Pantera, Korn, and Tool is right at home with elements of Queensr├┐che's Operation: Mindcrime and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. It isn't that Wastefall have nothing in common with someone like Italian prog metal/power metal virtuoso Luca Turilli; if Wastefall vocalist Domenic Papaemmanouil met Turilli, the two of them could no doubt have a nice conversation about the joys of Operation: Mindcrime and Wish You Were Here (another great Pink Floyd album of the '70s). But stylistically, that Pantera/Korn/Tool element separates Wastefall from Turilli and similar artists in a big way, despite the things they have in common. It should be stressed that this CD, for all its intensity, is never an exercise in harshness for the sake of harshness; Wastefall are forceful, but they are also intricate and melodic -- and their melodies tend to be dark and brooding. Self Exile is slightly inconsistent, but only slightly; the material is generally memorable, and Wastefall's potential is strong.

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