Future Golden Age

An Album By

Fallstar

Review by

Mixing electronic samples and elements of hip-hop, layering them over a base of metalcore and hard rock, proves to work amazingly well on Portland-based Fallstar’s latest release, Future Golden Age. None of the jam-packed 16 tracks disappoint. The band, a quartet featuring three brothers that originally started out in 2007, had recorded all the songs for Future Golden Age before taking to Kickstarter to get the album independently funded for mixing and distribution. It was successful, and the band was able to release FGA through their own record label, Rat Family Records.

There’s no question Fallstar has a heavy sound with thrashing guitar riffs, intense break downs and guttural lyrics, all elements that are par for the course in the metalcore genre, but the music separates itself from its contemporaries with a far greater dynamic. Adding in a synthesizer and the occasional record scratch give the music more depth, the right icing on the cake and can even occasionally stand in for the melody line; it ends up sounding great with the bass-heavy riffs and necessary breakdowns. But when Fallstar comes in for the chorus, they ease up to more of a hard rock vibe, giving each track a spectacular ebb and flow. This back-and-forth dynamic makes every song memorable, standing out from each other in the scope of the album and will get stuck in your head for days. I love the lyrical flow of each song; sometimes, it sounds like the album takes a page straight out of hip-hop’s book of tricks. The track “This is my E.L.F. Weapon” is a straight-up hip-hop track. It showcases vocalist Chris Ratzlaff’s great vocal range, with raspy, guttural screams to clean, melodic choruses, the variety handled with ease.

While the whole album is stellar, Future Golden Age‘s first few tracks (“What Roberta Sparrow Said,” “Spit,” “Circle Above Me [A Silent Voice]”) are some of the best, with a few other standouts in “Slaves” and “Under the Gun.” Fallstar caught my attention with their 2013 release Backdraft when they started pushing the boundaries of metalcore with their own flair, twisting their approach to the genre. I’m ecstatic to see them take their unique sound even further in a genre that suffers from a lack of variety. Future Golden Age isn’t strictly metalcore, and it is a fabulous album for fans of the band and for fans of the metalcore world.

Features

My Epic performing their last final show before COVID-19

Between the White Noise

My Epic's last full-length album came out in 2013; despite a number of EPs along the way, the band's dedication to their craft, lyrical approach, and unyielding approach to let the music come naturally has made them critical darlings. Now, they're learning to interact and feed a rabid fanbase in between albums and in a new normal.

By

Full Feature
HM covers from over the years

HM Magazine Turns 35

In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.

By

Full Feature
Employed to Serve

Forward Under a Dying Sun

Most of these days, the sun rises and sets on a world that feels like it's dying. Across the pond, where Employed to Serve calls home, they're learning how to support their latest record a year into its release. HM contributor Andrew Voigt recently sat down with Justine Jones to learn more about the band, marrying your bandmates, and their outside shot at touring with Rammstein.

By

Full Feature
All Features