Another new name for me to discover. Founded in 2004, Falling Edge is a Canadian project of multi-instrumentalist and singer Chris Rupert. The self-titled debut album was released in 2013 (see review). On this second album, Rupert is accompanied by Matt Broadbent, Steve Kubica, Andrea McColeman and Kevin Tetreault on bass, additional keys and drums. At least that is how it looks to me. When you read the information on the website it appears to me this album is more of a project effort because of the coming and going of band members.
The CD opens with the over 15 minute opener Minstrel In The Corner. Calm twanging guitars and then a Peter Gabriel-like or rather Simone Rossetti-like (The Watch) voice. After 5 or so fairly calm minutes, we get a short baroque sounding intermezzo and then the electric guitar launches in a biting lead part that seems to owe something to Robert Fripp, yet being different. And so the piece moves through a number of moods, all in all I'm strongly reminded of some of the Italian neo progressive rock bands from the 1990s (only that I fail to put my finger on a clear “sounds like ...” reference). Quite okay, and I get a teeny bit nostalgic when I hear music like this.
While I had a pretty good impression of the singer on the first track, the vocals on The Lost Journal are very strained and actually a bit strangled/tortured. The music is gentle and melodic, at first acoustic guitars and keys that carry a flute sound; later piano joins in as a leading instrument. Instrumentally fine, but the singing spoils a lot here.
Sex For Sale is clearly not your typical progressive rock title, but we tend to be open minded... Also on this piece the vocal delivery is a bit rough around the edges. First, however, there is a biting guitar opening that really cuts into you. The piece is rather rock oriented and through the riffing guitars I'm a bit reminded of early Rush, although the wandering keyboards with an Arabic hint go an entirely different direction.
After the short interlude Time Window, we get the album's title track. The piece reminds me quite a bit of earlier Genesis and appeals to me a lot, but again: the vocals sound very strained (and annoy me towards the end because of their repetitiveness).
Dark Matter is a fast paced instrumental with another pinch of Rush in it - as well as some Pär Lindh kind of church organ parts that contrasts perfectly with the electric guitars. Tracks like these demonstrate effectively what potential this band has and that it is advisable to look for an alternative for the vocals.
The CD opens with the longest piece, and closes with the second longest. The 13 minute The Sniper, The Piper, And Me starts with jazzy piano before Chris comes with a wobbly vocal line that is annoying enough as it is, but he sees it fits to repeat this melody line a few times. Good thing that some harsh Rush-y guitar comes and scares him away. Well, for a short while at least. Truth be told, the vocals are clearly less strained and can be considered as acceptable, probably because he sings in a more comfortable range and relaxed way.
A band with potential, especially if they do something about the singing.
*** Carsten Busch (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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