The last few years, more and more bands come to surface, experimenting, creating something new or sometimes trying to renew what we already know. MAHAKALA is one of those bands, experimenting and trying to combine genres in every possible way. For “Second Fall“, heavy metal is mixed with doom and dark rock, combined with folk elements in a unique mixture.
The album kicks in with a strong riff and a classic heavy metal song; “The Army Of The Flies”. The song contains both heavy metal riffs with powerful vocals and an impressive guitar solo around the end. However, the song is really straightforward with no surprises for the listener. Both songs coming up next have a tremendously common vibe, creating a feeling of repetition and lack of imagination. In “Redemption Denied”, the introductory guitar riff is equally heavy, while in “Purgatorium” some excellent vocals can be found, along with an impressive chorus. Nevertheless, both songs lack some diversity, in comparison with MAHAKALA’s love to experiment and combine different sets of sound.
The album really kicks off after the fourth song, “Better To Reign In Hell”. Despite everything that has been presented so far, a good, old, doom-like opening riff greets the listener, creating a huge, but not unfitting, contrast with the previous heavy songs. Even though the first verse sounds a little dry, with the minimal instruments supporting the vocals, the song kicks in pretty fast. A weird but definitely successful combination of the slow-paced doom with the fast blastbeats and the aggressive riffs.
“Something different comparing to what we are used to listen to and experiments are always encouraged”
From that point on, the album keeps getting darker and gloomier as the “Darkness In Their Eyes” kicks in. A melodic and very atmospheric riff introduces the listener to the song, creating a dark feeling and again, another contrast with the former song. Strings transit the listener smoothly to the main verse and then to an amazing Celtic-like riff. The most impressive riff in the album so far, created so much power and emitted a profound, for this album’s feeling. The song’s style has nothing to do with the previous or the next songs. It was just a break midways but that break was more than impressive.
Something worth mentioning is the “Wrath Of Lucifer”, where MAHAKALA decided to join forces with Sakis Tolis from ROTTING CHRIST. Sakis’ vocals provide the song a blacker tone, without stripping of the songs heaviness. The chorus is probably the catchiest thing in the album and it can definitely have you hooked in not time. Apart from the vocals, the song features really heavy and fast-paced guitar riffs making the song a good moshpit material while the melodic solo complements the black metal vibe emitted from the whole song.
The rest of the album follows the pattern of the first three songs. Some good guitar and bass riffs but nothing really astounding. The album as a whole was not bad at all, just slightly repetitive in my opinion. If the whole album was like the “Darkness In Their Eyes”, MAHAKALA would be my favorite band. But still, the album was something different comparing to what we are used to listen to and experiments are always encouraged. I was genuinely impressed by the bands ability to merge doom with heavy metal and atmospheric with black in a few tracks. Let’s hope that in the future, MAHAKALA would invest in atmospheres and Celtic riffs.