November 22, 2018 Tragødia – Before The Fall (Album Review)
When examining the landscape of modern Heavy Metal, you are bound to find a mass of talent across the globe that dabble in progressive sounds. A stylistic approach that is broad, expanding from full on Prog Metal, such as Dream Theater, to more hybrid acts such as Periphery, Progressive Metal, as a genre, is perhaps more flexible than ever. Among a plethora of bands that fall under this umbrella, Italy’s Tragodia, sometimes styled Tragødia, could certainly be argued to be a different kind of hybrid all their own. Together since 1996, and shifting their lineup and style over time, Tragodia have more Gothic Metal tendencies than one would think. In fact, their latest album, Before The Fall, could be one of their more Gothic Metal albums since their debut full-length, 2007’s The Promethean Legacy.
Set for release on Friday, November 23rd via Revalve Records, Before The Fall marks the band’s first LP in five years, a bit of a surprise, considering they put out albums consecutive years with 2012’s Theomachy and 2013’s Mythmaker. Now comfortably settled in with co-founding member Daniele Valseriati on drums, Riccardo Tonoli on guitar, Luca Meloni on lead vocals, and newest piece, Marco “Sappa” Nicoli on bass, Tragodia are primed for a big statement with Before The Fall.
A band always known for their tremendous guitar work that is both heavy, melodic, and ear-catching, Meloni brings arguably one of his best vocal performances with him on Before The Fall. Here Meloni balances his approach with a much darker, gothic sound, offering rougher edges when called for. In fact, there are many moments where you could easily put his performance up against Finland’s Juha Kylmänen, best known for his work in For My Pain and Reflexion. That in mind, the overall tone of Before The Fall is rather dark and somber at times.
Ten songs in total, the blistering opening of “The Untrodden Road” really sets the bar high with fiercely melodic guitars on par with Sentenced. Then, other songs such as “Master of Loss,” the thrashy “The Fifth Season,” “Adrift,” along with the more romantic instrumental “Of Dark Suns and Dying Stars,” separate themselves as solid arrangements that are emotional and lively. Again, the guitar work of Tonoli, a part of the mix over a decade now, really gives Tragodia the punch they need to stand out from the pack. This in mind, his mix of melody, crunch, and some really heartfelt solos – as heard on songs such as “The Forgery” and the closer “The House by the Grove” – make for an invigorating listen.
Overall, Tragodia have found a great balance between their Gothic and Progressive Metal sides with Before The Fall. The album is well-paced, rich with texture, and features a full-bodied sound of instrumentation. For anyone else who is relatively unfamiliar with Tragodia, let us just say if you dig acts such as Sentenced, Poisonblack or For My Pain, this may just be what you have been looking for to bridge any gaps. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Before The Fall 4 out of 5 stars.