Fallstar – Reconciler, Refiner, Igniter

By Eric Pettersson on March-28-2011 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , | Share

Fallstar – Reconciler, Refiner, Igniter
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
3.5 (15 votes)

Artist: Fallstar

Album: Reconciler, Refiner, Igniter

Label: Come & Live! Records

Release Date: March 29, 2011

Reviewer: Eric Pettersson

Tracklisting

  1. Hunters
  2. Black Clouds
  3. Reconciler
  4. Horse without a Rider
  5. Saratoga Springs
  6. Lurchers
  7. Drunkaholics Anonymous
  8. Face to the Floor
  9. Contortionist
  10. Windows

“Love will swallow me whole!” With this cry, Portland, Oregon, metalheads Fallstar reveal the heart of their latest release, Reconciler, Refiner, Igniter. With a very bass-heavy brand of metalcore, these guys deliver a message of God’s love overcoming the darkness and consuming this world with God’s power.

Imagine the deep guttural vocals sometimes used by He Is Legend or Underoath, turn up the bass, make things a little crazy, then include some seriously melodic parts like either of those bands would do, and you’ve got the basic idea for Fallstar’s debut on Come&Live. It’s sometimes dark, sometimes catchy, sometimes gritty, sometimes epic, sometimes fun, but it is always heavy. At times it encroaches on Zao heaviness (especially when the hardcore vocals turn towards the higher end), but it tends to stay more on the low end both vocally and musically. When the melodic parts come in with clean vocals and tight riffs, it can sound like As Cities Burn or even Taking Back Sunday. There’s another element to these songs that may be confused for Southern flair or a big emo influence, but this element is best described as theatricality and showmanship. Fallstar is clearly having fun, and they want the listen to have fun too. They also have a story to tell, and they’re not afraid to use all the dramatic weight needed to tell that story. That story, of course, is the greatest story ever told: the gospel.

Overall: On one hand, Reconciler, Refiner, Igniter is like nothing I’ve ever heard. The finished product is so unique it was a bit of a challenge to write this review. But on the other hand, many of the elements here are not only familiar but well loved, at least by this reviewer. It’s got all the right pieces coming together for a sound that is fresh yet easy to pick up and enjoy.

Fallstar - Reconciler, Refiner, Igniter, 3.5 out of 5 based on 15 ratings

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About the author Eric Pettersson

Eric Pettersson is from Reading, PA and a graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia with degrees in Communication and Religion. He wrote regularly for IVM 2005-2011. Now he has his own website, Explore Reading, "a progressive guide to the city of Reading, Pennsylvania. Follow him at www.explorereading.net View all posts by Eric Pettersson

35 Responses to 'Fallstar – Reconciler, Refiner, Igniter'

  1. silentthunder89 says:

    I REALLY like what I’ve heard on their myspace. This one is definitely getting bought! XD

  2. Shane McKnight says:

    Sounds pretty good. I’m stoked.

  3. Drew says:

    It reminds me a lot of Fixed til Tuesday/I Am Terrified. Which is good that someone picked up where they left off, cause Fallstar is solid.

  4. evan144 says:

    I mean no disrespect at all Eric, but you really think this album is better than Emery’s new album?!?! Just curious.

    • Good question.

      I don’t necessarily compare my review scores in that way… It’s got less to do with my own taste, and more to do with the level of quality I expect from the band and what they are trying to do with a certain release.

      Emery has set the bar very high, and so I’m going to be more strict with them than a band I’ve never heard of.

    • Lucas says:

      Agreed. I’m the same way. I think Anberlin’s “New Surrender” is a good example for me. I thought it was better than what most bands I like put out, but Anberlin set the bar REALLY high with Cities and NFTP. (that said I do love Emery’s new record)

    • KeithX says:

      Hmm, Eric’s answer and Lucas’s response just raised a bunch of questions in my mind. I believe that music is all about taste. If I don’t like a particular style of music, it doesn’t matter if the band is exceptionally talented or even brilliant, I won’t want to listen to it. Okay, I might spin it once out of curiosity, but you know what I mean.

      If people are rating based on their expectations for a band, without regard to their own taste, how do I evaluate the ratings here at IVM? It makes them somewhat random, does it not? I’m not trying to be difficult, just curious. So back to evan144’s original question, Eric, do you like the new Emery album or this one better? Which one will get more spins?

    • evan144 says:

      Thanks Eric, totally answered my question!

    • KeithX,

      There’s a big difference between what I like personally and what I think of a record critically. Let’s say, theoretically, that I don’t like death metal. If I were to write a terrible review of the new BTA record, it wouldn’t do anyone any good, because all they’d learn from my review is that I personally don’t like that genre. And personally, if reviews just talked about whether the writers found the record fitting to their taste, I wouldn’t have much interest in reading them. When I read a review, I want to know what the band is doing on a record and if they did it well. I could care less if the reviewers are going to continue listening in their free time or not.

      And to answer you second question about which gets more spins, that’s hard to say because I only had a stream of the new Emery until today when I bought it from Amazon. Up to this point, Fallstar was getting more play, but that’s only because I could take it in my car instead of being locked into listening at the computer. Ask me again in a month and I’ll tell you the real answer, though I assume it will probably be Emery.

    • evan144 says:

      Yea Keith, thanks for the input, but Eric totally answered my question.

    • KeithX says:

      Fair enough, Eric. Thanks.

    • silentthunder89 says:

      That’s why I can’t stand reading reviews at JesusFreakHideout.com. While I understand that everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion, I don’t understand their review process. If you look at the reviewer’s about me page, they have people who only enjoy bands like david crowder, jason upton, chris tomlin, etc. reviewing bands like the Letter Black. It just seems to me like all their reviews are reviewed solely from opinion without trying to be a bit objective. That’s why I like coming to this site. Most of the reviews are reviewed by people who normally like to listen to that kind of music anyway and do their best to do it from an unbiased point of view.

  5. Mikey says:

    Not even halfway through the first song I heard on their Myspace, I went to comeandlive.com and bought their CD. They sound awesome!

  6. Tim says:

    Downloaded this earlier. On my first listen. Not bad.

  7. Loren Wade says:

    I love metal and hardcore, but I am not digging this.

  8. Tim says:

    Anyone know if the lyrics have been posted anywhere?

    I really want to hear the story their friend Kate is telling during ‘Drunkaholics Anonymous’ but I can’t quite make it out. Also, intrigued by the rest of the album.

  9. Jim Limbaugh says:

    I think this record is HIGHLY overrated, and terribly produced. There are few redeeming parts, though there are some, it does not redeem this record. Agreed it surpasses the demos, but this is one of those “stay in the garage and keep working on it” bands I think. There are glimpses of good songwriting and structure, but these songs lack transition and it’s fickle. If I had to rate it, if I’m being nice, I’d say this is a 5 at best.
    I know I know, Debbie Downer right? Well pardon me for thinking that there are already enough bands flooding the market, and this is just another. I also know this will most likely be met with as much veracity from the reader as I believe this statement to be true. This is unoriginal, far from unique, and what really frustrates me is reading some reviews and seeing things like “mind blowing.” No, this is a far cry from mind blowing. You all know who is out today that is mind blowing, and let’s be honest with ourselves this is no where near that statement.
    I apologize for the mass negativity, but where credit is due I must rightfully give. Not that it’s my right, but I think it’s just right.
    5 out of 10, on a good day.

  10. I listened to about half of this album… It’s just not clicking for me. I wish they either would have run with the hardcore elements or stuck with the emo thing. It just doesn’t work for me.

    Side note: Emery’s record might be their best

  11. KeithX says:

    I enjoyed my first listen. I can never really rate an album after one listen, so I’ll come back and add mine in a few days when I’ve given it 3 or 4 plays. Oh, and I agree with Tim on ‘Drunkaholics Anonymous’.

  12. Rusty says:

    Great great great album, raw and catchy! The story in drunks is of someone being “drunk in the spirit”, I don’t think it’s meant to be fully heard, I think that’s awesome, the spirit will do it’s work!

  13. Brad says:

    I bought the album at the CD release party about 2 weeks ago. Luckily I live in their hometown, and have seen them perform live 4 times in the last few months. They put on an insane live show! I had never heard of them before I saw them the first time. I went to the show because the Classic Crime and House of Heroes were touring, and Fallstar was playing, too. I have been a fan ever since. Give the album a few repeated listens, and it grows on you. And if you get the chance, see them play live, and you will be a fan for life.

  14. Rusty says:

    Thank goodness for opinions.

  15. Mouse says:

    can’t stop listening to this record! the poem at the end of “windows” is epppic!

  16. thruchristalone777 says:

    Eh this is an ok album. Nothing really spectacular about it.

  17. Seaniam says:

    I compare this to the last heavy release from Come&Live being I Am Alpha And Omega’s album…and i feel fairly safe saying this is much better in terms of meeting expectations. I wanted nothing from this record excpet to do more or less what it does. Im not listening to it hoping for more… it is what it is. Solid.

  18. BMer says:

    someone hopefully said this already but i can’t help but think Fallstar has a seriously identity crisis going on here. some stuff sounds like post-hardcore (quirky) and some sounds like old haste the day, and some sounds like hard rock.

    also, personally i’m not a fan of so much spoken word / talking over music. it doesn’t translate over to the live show well at all. otherwise, i think it’s an alright record, i’d give it a 6 or 7

  19. Rusy says:

    i went and read the spoken word poem at the end of the album, they have the words on their facebook notes, so good! makes me wanna cry!

  20. Honesty, Man says:

    Silly review. This is post-hardcore screamo. There’s nothing metal about the cd. Which isn’t bad, but “metalheads” is a terrible word to use. What’s this about “deep guttral vocals” like He is Legend and Underoath? Are you joking? Neither He is Legend or Underoath’s vocals are deep or guttural. Nothign close. Zao heaviness? Fallstar and Zao are complete opposites of the spectrum. The one thing they have in common is screaming. Sounds like the reviewer doesn’t know as much about heavy music as he might think. I don’t even have any feedback on the album itself, the poorness of the review usurped the entirity of my attention.

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