Fallstaf is a unique band – they play Brass metal – or Trombone metal to be more precise. While this sounds like an oddity, its no more strange than Apocalyptica playing metal on Cellos, or Van Canto doing A Capella metal. Other bands have used various unusual instruments – Chthonic for instance use a Taiwanese traditional violin-like instrument, and Slipknot use Oil drums as percussion instruments but this is the first time I’ve come across a band using a brass instrument.
The band name Fallstaf comes from Falstaff who is a character referred to by Shakespeare in his play Henry V. He is a Knight more interested in having a good time than he is in being accountable for his Knightly responsibilities. He is often seen as a negative influence on young Prince Hal, the future king Henry V. Sounds like a perfect name for a metal band really – interested in partying and seen by others as a bad influence ;)
So what’s the music like? Well its good hard heavy metal with guitars, drums etc, but with the addition of a trombone. You’ve got some good shouting/screaming vocals, nice guitar work, and pounding drums. The trombone takes some getting used to, but it certainly adds extra depth to some of the songs
“The cost” is a good example of one of the songs were the trombone is a bit jarring – it stands out a bit too much for my liking in the first thirty seconds, but then later in the song it seems to fit in a lot better. That’s a good example of how this album is for me really – its got parts where everything works very well and bits where it doesn’t quite work for me.
So what’s the verdict – does it work or not? That’s a difficult one to answer. At times the trombone works really well and adds an extra quality to the music, but occasionally it just seems a bit jarring. Metal purists will hate it as they hate anything innovative or different, but more open minded fans should certainly give Fallstaf a listen and make their own minds up. It’s definitely something that takes a bit of getting used to like most radically new ideas. After listening to it a few times I do actually quite like this album – it just took a bit of getting used to hearing the trombone in a metal album.
1. Dark days
2. The cost
4. Not welcome
5. Pull the knife
6. My demons (Acoustic)
7. 10 years in flames
8. The hounds
9. Fuck the fence
10. My demons
11. Violence as violence can be