Children of Fall – Ignition for Poor Hearts

Children of Fall
Ignition for Poor Hearts

The Swedish band Children of Fall makes up for the shortcomings of much of the European hardcore scene. While many countries are pumping out bludgeoning and brutal metal of the darker variety, most are content with pussy-fotting around in black leather and recycling old Judas Priest riffs. Yet all that’s changing with a new wave of European hardcore bands, and CHildren of Fall are definitely representing.
If I could sum up the music of Children of Fall in one word, it’d be “power.” The message, the music, the production, it all comes together to make a very potent package of angst and rage. The lyrics by this band are an all-out attack on the system but not an overly-idealistic one, a call for urgency with the definite bite of a cynic. “Becoming Less” is an internal monologue about how the powers that be have degraded people to a highly superficial level that what they own or what they look like constitutes who they are. The lyrics muse the anti-thesis of a Gap ad, “All I know is that which defines me / My belongings and my body / The rest is invalid / But I don’t want to be so easily defined / To be so easily kept in mind.” “Sick of Medicine” is lyrically my favorite track on the album; its deals with psychiatrists freely doling out pills to cure one’s pain. If you’re depressed, heres a pill, it will make you feel better. Haven’t we seen this before in an oft-forgotten book called Brave New World? It was called SOMA. Once again the powers-that-be are brought into focus with the lines, “No one is a threat with a knife to the wrist or a gun to the head / There are those in this world that want us almost, but not quite, dead.”
With the power and angst of the lyrics being so powerful, its no doubt that the music follows suit. The production on this album is excellent, it’s raw and not of the highest grade but totally perfect for the situation. The music of this four-piece band is like a wall of sound coming at you; there are lots of discordant squeeks and noises but also the occasional slick-sounding breakdown. These guys blend styles and sounds very seemlessly. I debated for a long time as to what genre to put in this here review as there were elements of traditional hardcore, metalcore, emocore, and other sub-genres present. Finally I decided to just cop-out and place some fairly diverse (in the genre, at least) RIYL’s to best convey Children of Fall’s sound.
I’ve got to say this is one of the more surprising releases I’ve heard in a very long time. I’m usually on top of the genre and read reviews of things before I buy them or even get to hear them so I’m not surprised often, but these kids from Sweden came out of nowhere to blow my head off. Everything is spot-on here, and I have not a single complaint. Ignition for Poor Hearts is an unquestionably powerful release that is loud, angry, and wants to do something to change the society in which we live, and unlike alot of other bands who have qualms with society, Children of Fall present their views in a very lucid, clear manner. Hopefully more people will get a sniff of this band, and the gospel according to Children of Fall should spread like wildfire.