The trombone. It has always been the bastard son of the brass family. Not as flashy as a trumpet, not as big as a tuba, not as...complex as a French horn. People make jokes about trombone players. I know this because I AM a trombone player and, speaking for trombone players everywhere, I say the jokes end now.
Fallstaf are from Montreal, Canada, and are trying to forge a new genre of music called 'Brass Metal'. There have been horns in Metal before, but it's usually a trumpet or two. Bands like Puya, Alamaailman Vasarat, Maudlin Of The Well, Candiria, Jerseyband or the more popular Mr Bungle come to mind. If you hear a trombone, it's probably part of an orchestra. If you think about it, it's a perfect instrument for Metal, low, with an inherent evil quality and a natural distortion.
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The question is: does it work? Sure it does. There's no attempt to hide the trombone in the background either, it comes at you right away during the intro to 'Dark Days.' The rest of the song sticks closer to basic modernday hardcore with some thrashy sections. I love the way the trombone blends with the guitars too. Man, I'd love try this sometime.
'The Cost' starts off heavy and then introduces the one non-Metal element of the trombone, the glissando. I'm sorry, but when you start doing that, it gets hard to take it seriously. 'Eulogy' is a mid-tempo tune that features the trombone playing the main riff for the first time, which gets repeated later by the guitars.
'My Demons' is an acoustic piece, and the clean vocals are a welcome respite from all the hardcore barking. '10 Years In Flames' charges things up yet again with a funky Metal riff. After a while, the trombone gets a little tedious, even for me. It would have been cool to hear it blending with some other low brass, or maybe multi-tracked here and there to give it a different sound.
I think maybe 'Fuck The Fence' loses something when translated from the French, with a lyric like, 'fuck the fence don't be scared.' Yeah, I don't know either. The glissando is back too...next time maybe skip that and add some distortion. Don't laugh, I once saw Robin Eubanks play his through a wah-wah pedal and do Hendrix tunes, it was awesome.
I bet this was a blast to play and a dream come true for the Hitman as the trombone player appears to be named. Years of ridicule for carrying around a trombone case can make a person do some strange things.
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