Review: “Cold World EP” by Fallbrawl

So here’s the thing. German Metallic Hardcore quartet Fallbrawl made their debut back in 2008 with an album called “Cold World” and after 14 years together and four studio albums (2012’s “Pure Mayhem“, 2015’s “Chaos Reigns” and 2019’s “Darkness” being the other three) they’ve re-recorded four of their best known tracks for an EP that features cover art in the same shades of blue and white as that record. What’s interesting about this new release is that Fallbrawl pushed the songs on their last album to a more Metal dominated sound, perhaps in keeping with the former industrial area centrally located in North-Rhine-Westphalia, known as Ruhrpott, from which they hail.

Twelve years is a long time in the music industry and guitar tones, production value, mixing and mastering techniques have changed considerably since “Cold World” dropped in 2008. “Fallbrawl II” sees the sample of the original stripped away, while the guitars are punchier, rhythm section meatier and single word vocal more of a Death Metal growl than it’s predecessor. This new version is very much how one would expect the track to have evolved live over those twelve years. The change of vocalist with Andree Krupski taking over in 2012 could be one reason for the release of these re-recorded tracks, it certainly seemed to be the reason that In Flames used to when they did the same thing for the 20th Anniversary of “Clayman“. The difference between the two is much more apparent on “Cold World II“. Fawlbrawl don’t change the track itself; they just make use of their current vocalist, keeping the spine juddering riffs and lyrical flow intact and thus maintaining the integrity of the music, which is no doubt something close to their collective hearts. Similarly the Metalcore overtones of “What You Got Now II” match the original with an extra 11 seconds of playing time for the two steppers to get in the pit. Listening to these re-recordings is very much like listening to the difference between “You Had Me At Hello” by Bury Your Dead and their re-recorded tracks on “Cover Your Tracks“. The difference is the improved audio quality; while the original has charm, these new takes have more blunt force trauma. Closing cut “Bullets in Your Head II” has the Metalcore solo, something that you wouldn’t usually get with a band of this ilk but that adds something that lifts from the tracks low end rumble. If you’ve not heard Fallbrawl before, this is the ideal place to start and if you have, there is plenty here to enjoy as a stop gap release [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Fallbrawl II
  2. Cold World II
  3. What You Got II
  4. Bullets in Your Head II

Cold World EP” by Fallbrawl is out now via BDHW Records

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