by Mark Allen
– Senior Columnist —
Smashing down genre barriers like a berserk bull blowing through a sheet of balsa wood, Texas-based metal act Downfall 2012 return with the aptly-titled Issue Two, the 2nd installment in their series of Every Man For Himself EPs. As before, the trio mixes heavy metal, hardcore, metalcore, modern rock, and rap-metal into a hybrid style made all the more interesting by some unique percussion choices and slick use of layered harmonies. While their sound is reminiscent of similar bands—namely, Rage Against the Machine and System of a Down—they do not engage in slack-jawed hero worship. In other words, they are influenced by other bands but slave to none.
These guys are just a trio, but they bring the kind of mosh-pit heaviness that leaves your innards tenderized like a sledgehammered slab of beef. If you’re looking for soft, soothing tunes to spin while you make sweet love to your significant other … well, this ain’t that. Make love with this EP as the soundtrack and somebody is going to get hurt.
If you liked Every Man For Himself: Issue One, then you’re also going to like Issue Two. The two EPs merge together seamlessly to form a cohesive album, both musically as well as from a story standpoint. You’ve heard of concept albums? Well, this is a concept series of EPs. Now, some metal fans find that sort of thing as off-putting as finding rat shit in your M&Ms, but you can stuff your fears back down into the deep, dark hole from which they emerged. Because if nobody told you these were concept EPs, you might never pick up on the fact. So the concept is there for those who seek it, but for everyone else … just sit back and head-bang your brains out to the musical brutality.
You see, the music of Downfall 2012 is not for the faint of heart. The EP opens with “Gone For Now,” loaded with rhythms so staccato that you’d swear they were being fired from a machinegun. The sound absolutely crushes the senses, but the band doles out just enough harmonies to ensure the jagged edges also have some melody. “Heckler” roars along at a frantic pace that borders on beautifully out of control chaos until the gut-punch chorus leaves its mark. The track encompasses all of Downfall 2012’s vocal tricks—rapped lines, shrill screams, guttural growls, melodic harmonies—and it’s oddly fascinating to hear. “Transformed” is the standout track, a monstrous modern metal tune with skull-smashing guitar riffs, enough aggression to pulverize concrete, and an anthemic chorus hook.
This band may be a hybrid of various subgenres, but they pack enough rock ‘n’ roll fury to blow the house down. Granted, this kind of metal mash-up may not be to everyone’s taste, but there is no denying Downfall 2012 have some serious talent.
Genre: Modern Metal
Danny Gil (vocals, guitar)
Boo Rogers (bass, vocals)
Casey Bowen (drums, vocals)
1. Gone For Now
4. Behind the Mirror
Hardrock Haven rating: 7/10