PALEFACE – Fear & Dagger (Album Review)

PALEFACE – Fear & Dagger
Released: March 25, 2022

Lineup:

Marc Zellweger | vocals
Colin Hammond | Drums
Yannick Lehmann | Guitars
Tommy-Lee Abt | Bass

Online:

Facebook
Instagram
Official Website

Hailing from Switzerland, PALEFACE have been busy refining their sound since 2017. After completing their album trilogy in 2020 with Chapter 3: The Last Selection, the deathcore outfit returns in 2022 with Fear & Dagger, an unashamedly brutal and angry album. And while it’s awesome to bring a healthy platter of sixteen tracks to the table, each offering loaded with crushing breakdowns and riffs to break your neck to, perhaps that’s what makes Fear & Dagger become a slightly challenging album to get through about halfway in.

Before the deathcore army comes at me, I get it – this is a record of crushing brutality and is also slick in production – but when you’ve been listening to lighter stuff for the last few months, switching gears to PALEFACE is like (to reference their country) stepping out onto a snowy Swiss Alps naked after you’ve been lounging on a beach in LA. Don’t picture that. Sorry. Anyhoo, we press on…

The tense intro of ‘666’ sets a bleak setting for the onslaught of what’s to come. Then from ‘Pain’ to the last moments of ‘Judgement Day’ you have over an hour of the tightest instrumentals backing the hyperactive screams of Marc Zellweger, backing off only for a few minutes to give us a deathcore ballad in the form of ‘My Grave Lay With Me’, complimented with a small helping of humour and forth-wall breaking from Marc’s energetic wrestling intro for the band and various other crowd encouragements littered throughout some heavier breakdowns.

More lengthy offerings are scattered throughout, including the intense ‘The Orphan’ and ‘Fear And Dagger.’

You can also hear some early Slipknot material making their influence known during various moments in songs like ‘No Room Left In Hell’ and ‘Dead Man’s Diary,’ a track that also presents a visually creative side of the band in the form of their video.

A handful of guest vocal appearances make the album, including Bobak Raffiee from our very own Justice For The Dammed. Deathcore aficionados will undoubtedly love this album, and I enjoyed some great metal moments throughout. Some may enjoy the length of the album – I think it could be easily cut down to a healthy 12 or 13 tracks and Fear & Dagger would still give the same impact.

But that’s just me – if you like your ‘core’ no matter what prefix, PALEFACE is a band that deserves to be high on your live list, as the energy conveyed throughout this album would translate into an epic show.

PALEFACE – Fear & Dagger tracklisting:

1. 666
2. Pain
3. Supressing Times
4. Make A Deal With The Devil
5. Deathtouch
6. Nail To The Tooth
7. Dead Man’s Diary
8. God Looks The Other Way
9. Chaos Theory
10. The Orphan
11. My Grave Lay With Me
12. Hellhole
13. No Room Left In Hell
14. Bite The Curb
15. Fear And Dagger
16. Judgement Day

Rating: 7/10
Fear & Dagger is out Friday 25th March. Pre-Order here
Review By – Simon Valentine (@SimonValentineAU)

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