Bless the Fallen

The Eclectic Sounds of a City Painted Black & White

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It isn't hard to see why some folks might confuse Poughkeepsie, NY's Bless the Fallen with Phoenix, AZ's blessthefall. They have very similar (though not identical) names, both are part of screamo, and both bands have had members named Michael (Mike Frisby in Phoenix's blessthefall and Mikey Fraleigh in Poughkeepsie's Bless the Fallen). But they are definitely two different bands. A press release that Crash Music sent out with The Eclectic Sounds of a City Painted Black & White (the Poughkeepsie combo's first full-length album) describes Bless the Fallen as a band that is "swimming in the veins of influences as diverse as Pantera, Pink Floyd, and Iron Maiden," but truth be told, there is nothing on The Eclectic Sounds of a City Painted Black & White that gives any indication of these Poughkeepsie residents having such a wide variety of influences; quite frankly, their less than distinctive material isn't nearly as interesting as such a description suggests. This 46-minute disc offers a routine screamo/metalcore blend that contains occasional hints of death metal and black metal, and there is very little to distinguish them from a long list of similar outfits that emerged in the mid-2000s. The Eclectic Sounds of a City Painted Black & White has two of screamo's main ingredients: swirling guitars, and an extreme vocals/clean vocals contrast. However, Fraleigh's screaming vocals are dominant, and there are times when this CD downplays the screamo component and becomes all-out metalcore. Bottom line: The Eclectic Sounds of a City Painted Black & White is not a terrible album, but the material is pedestrian -- and Bless the Fallen are going to have to come up with songs that are a lot more memorable if they are going to stand out in the ultra-crowded, fiercely competitive world of screamo and metalcore.

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