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Here’s one from Lord Covey before he hit the road with Shai Hulud. VICTUS is dropping on 1/22 via Victory Records, so cop it when it hits, or go pre-order it NOW for special deals and packages. Kudos, Calgary!

Fall City Fall – Victus (Victory Records)

The first full-length album from Calgary-based Fall City Fall, Victus, is billed by Victory Records as a truly boundary-pushing hardcore record. So, I was a bit skeptical when the record opens with a kinda standard-issue slowmotional hardcore intro song. But by the time the second tune, “Dissentipede,” gets going, it’s clear there is a bigger plan at work in FCF’s writing. In the first couple minutes, they slickly pull off a plot that feels distinctly like the layered reveal of a “monster next door” villain in a murder mystery…and you’ve realized just a little too late.

FCF make great use of texture and color, and don’t tend to get side-tracked with flashiness and gimmickry like many of their counterparts, often seeming to be consciously exercising thoughtful restraint. The influence of Every Time I Die, Botch, and occasionally Blood Brothers crosses into derivative-land a few times, but, like those bands, I think FCF understands how to use Concept in their approach without losing the attitude, immediacy, and forward motion that comes from a hardcore sensibility.

Despite having their moments of borderline inane riffery, there’s a measured intent present that you just don’t hear a lot from bands in this scene. FCF sounds its youngest in the vocal department. Vocalists Nathan Zorn and Keenan Pylychaty sound too often like they are throwing something at the wall in order to keep up with the ever-changing direction of the songs — sometimes going to their obvious comfort zone in the form of overt Keith Buckley flattery, sometimes straying into emotionally campy territory. For me, there’s a fine line between the whining of Daryl Palumbo and that of Jonathan Davis. For many people, there’s no line at all.

Victus is definitely a good record. Assuming FCF retains this spirit, I think all they have to do to make the next one great is look further inward.

– Matt Covey