Fades Away are…
Dave Erickson: Vocals
Steve Daniels: Bass
Matt Mahlen: Drums
Brett Verlennich: Guitar
Sad State of Affairs
The Smoking Gun
If you are looking for a poppy, easy to follow Top 40 Christian hard rock album, you aren’t going to like this EP. But if you like heavy hooks and groovy turnarounds that you can bang your head to, then you need to get your ears on Resurrection Part I EP from Fades Away. An atypical song writing style is the signature for this band and it works well.
The opening song “Sad State of Affairs” sets the tone for the EP with its driving rhythm and mix of clean and rough vocals. Dave Erickson’s voice opens with an eerie yet beautiful melody with the “keep your distance don’t cross that line” lyric which will hook you wanting more. The flanged guitar behind the vocal adds to the effect which flows into a catchy driving chorus. Without spoiling the surprise, lyrically this song is a great social commentary on the state of America while avoiding being overly preachy.
The next song “The Game” is a catchy mid-tempo grind with a sweet pinched harmonic in the riff. You just can’t help but to head-bang to the opening riff and you want more of it. Guitarist Brett Verlennich’s absolutely shines on this song with his smooth scale work and lightning fast ripping lead fills. Drummer Matt Mahlen keeps the groove moving with his thumping double kick and mixes it up in the verse. Again, vocalist Dave Erickson pulls you in with his smooth voice until he pummels you in the chorus. The brief melodic bridge is a nice respite from the heavy grooving but you are rewarded with a turnaround back in the main groove. It’s hard lyrically to point specifically to the subject matter but eludes to a system that’s rigged against you. Because “winning doesn’t matter if the game is all a lie.”
The song “The Smoking Gun” leaves much room for lyrical interpretation. Nevertheless, this song stands out for several reasons. Bassist Steve Daniels gets to shine once between the chorus and the verse. Great vocal harmonies and a driving verse changes up from what you’ve already heard thus far. The theme of taking on a third person perspective of the antagonist is carried over into “The Resistance” though who or what is being resisted is unclear. The lines “we’ll pry the truth from your cold dead hands” and “bring your weapons bring your favorite lies it doesn’t really matter” makes one think the song is about gun-control but the overall vagueness of the lyrics makes it uncertain.
The EP closes as it opens with a mix of a heavy opening riff then dropping to a melodic verse on “The Beast”. If that was by design or unintentional it book ends the EP well. In the end, we find Erickson’s vocal framed by Verlennich’s guitar work supported by Daniels and Mahlen. Ending the EP with the vocals sans a grandiose finale leaves you wondering what comes next. Part II? Nicely done.
Unexpectedly the song writing was very progressive. Fades Away puts together a great blend of influences to make a unique sound. It’s obvious that Fades Away’s talent as musicians and song writers stands out on this EP. Lyrically the lack of specificity in the subject matter may leave you wanting unless you prefer being able to apply your own meaning. Overall, this a great EP packed with great riffs, vocal diversity and enough metal melodies for the modern metal consumer.