The Second Fall is an album by Greek heavy metal group MAHAKALA, released on March 13. With nine tracks – Army of the Flies, Redemption Denied, Purgatorium, Better to Reign in Hell (Than Serve in Heaven), Darkness in their Eyes, Wrath of Lucifer, Unholy Fight, Blessed Are the Dead and War Against Mankind – The Second Fall is quite an interesting album, not the typical heavy metal record, although following the traditional features of the genre in several aspects of its musical direction, where it becomes perceptive and incredibly predominant which are their driving forces and basic influences. Despite the fact that The Second Fall is not a fantastic or deeply innovative album, it has several qualities, and a force of its own. With cohesive guitar lines and a creative musical guideline of their own, this album proudly aggregates interesting components to the genre, with a spontaneity astoundingly masterminded at the center of a profoundly methodic style.
With authenticity and abrasiveness, MAHAKALA has careful and cautious melodies, more centered on constructive and well-balanced harmonies, than heaviness or aggression, although you are mistaken if you think their sound is soft. Not recommended for beginners, although there is a proficiently inserted tranquilizing component brilliantly installed in their music – whose versatility really outstands itself at the height of an amazing musical technicality – MAHAKALA is unforgiving on their wild side, but always maintaining their compromise with a well-shaped and coherently dilapidated rhythm, with a harmonizing detailed nature, that unravels a band very secure of their style, their capacities, their abilities, their goals, and what they can really achieve, with the perfect convergence of all the qualities they have at their disposition.
With the discreet insertion of symphonic and power metal elements, MAHAKALA remembers a lot bands like Iced Earth. They are not just another generic act, despite honoring the tradition, especially with overwhelming and astronomic guitar solos, that seems to wander endlessly throughout the whole universe, going back and forth. With a lucid and very prominent sound, this interesting and astute Greek band proves with The Second Fall their relevance, although they really have to crystallize with more strength and sobriety the peculiarities of their own style, to avoid a generic marginalization of classification, that they barely avoid in some tracks. Nonetheless, I think that all enthusiasts of heavy metal will appreciate The Second Fall. Whether you are predisposed to admit this conclusion or not, this is a record that does a lot more for a true rescue and a genuine perception of heavy metal than most contemporary bands of the genre.
So, despite the fact that this album cannot be categorized as a masterpiece, it stands as a serious, strong, decent, cohesive and interesting album. Different passages in different songs sound too similar, but I think that MAHAKALA is in the right direction, revolving, evolving and consistently developing a genre that really deserves not to die, since it has been for quite some time now relegated to a despicable limb of boredom and unoriginality. If there is a band that can really revive heavy metal, and elevate the principles of its true standards, you can be sure that this band is MAHAKALA.