Released: 27.04.2011 FIN
After the line-up of Bleak parted ways in 2009, the singer and songwriter Caleb recruited new band members, renamed the band into Fireal and what happens when you mix some Industrial Metal elements with Alternative Rock, put some Grunge into it and add some sensitive and sticky Pop Rock melodies? Something unique what the band describes as Imperial Rock.
In spring of 2011 Fireal released the follow-up to “Burns Inside”, from 2006 as Bleak, entitled “The Dark Side”. And what is so exceptional about the sound of this band?
When you insert “The Dark Side” into your player, you’ll get to hear the first riffs of the opening song called “The Imperia”. This is also the best example of the Industrial side of the band’s music. Dark verses with cryptic lyrics, a rather simple, anthem-like but still memorable and sticky chorus, one great breakdown… No other song would open “The Dark Side” as great as “The Imperia” does.
After this track and the 2nd single “Breathe” follows. It’s not as dark as the previous one and is the example of Fireal’s more “poppy” side since this is one of the song which gained even some airplay in the Finnish radios. I really hate to use that “poppy” word, you know but sometimes there no other way out. The chorus is really explosive and Caleb’s strong vocals are just like the icing on a cake. It’s surely a song that can keep your mood up.
The next song “Ariel” is over all the catchiest and most touching song by Fireal. Nothing is necessary to say. You just need to take a listen to this masterpiece.
“God” follows with a strong chorus, which won’t let anybody cold. And here you have the Alternative Rock side of Fireal’s sound.
In the next song entitled “The Crying” which starts with heavy and melodic riffs you’ll get the proof that the band’s lead-singer and songwriter is pretty versatile. From thin falsettos to strong vocal lines in the verses and some few shouts… You got it all in this one song.
“Violet” follows, including some fragile violin parts making it even more catchy. Braced with a heartbreaking chorus… Nothing left to say. You just have to listen.
And after a couple of touching songs we got here a so-called “in your face-experience” with “Pyromania”. The Metal-anthem of “The Dark Side”. It’s really harsh when compared to those power-ballads you heard before. But that’s the thing I like about this album.
Everything comes out of nothing for some reason.
Then you’ll hear some nice SID-Metal orientated noises – No idea why I mix Machinae Supremacy into this review but anyway… The party-song “Halo” comes up. It’s an über-catchy and melodic piece of music which forces you to sing along in the energetic chorus and would you tell at this point that Fireal is a band from the cold ground of Finland? Not really, right?
I still admit that this track was a big grower for me.
“Syren” is the next song coming and is also the start of the most epic part of “The Dark Side”. This song is really nicely made musically – from first tones to the breakdown after the chorus… Just one word. Epic.
But still not as epic as the follower. “The Nibiru”.
“The Nibiru” is a 6-minutes-track with somewhat calmer verses, again a memorable chorus while the climaxing final was THAT one moment which made my jaw drop… The synth parts, the development of the whole melody line and the melancholic vocals towards the end… “The Nibiru” is the example of a Real Jawdropper.
It all comes to an end with “Joy”. My first impressions were a bit mixed up but then it was all clear…
If there is an album which is great and timeless at the same time it’s “The Dark Side” for me among some others. It’s already 3 years since the release and it’s still fully listenable. High level songwriting at its finest.
It’s a very detailed album where you just can’t make yourself a picture of it after just one listen. Damn, not even 10 times are enough to reveal every single spot of “The Dark Side”.
I wrote many reviews, but this was surely one of the hardest to write. You often don’t have the correct words to describe everything you find on this record which made it again a lot more difficult.
In addition to that it has just got everything a good album has to have in my opinion so a full rating is really deserved here.
“The Dark Side” is for everyone who wants to discover something new. No matter if it’s something new from the Alternative Rock scene or something new from Finland.
Currently the band is working on a new album so we all can hope for an even stronger follower of “The Dark Side”.
- The Imperia
- The Crying
- The Nibiru
Take a Listen:
Written by Misha Nyman, February 2013 – Edited July 2014