Downfall My Last Prayer

If I had never heard any dark rock from Finland, I would probably think this album was pretty cool, but it's hard to get past just how much Downfall sounds like a derivative version of every other Finnish "suicide rock" band. It's not that they don't write good songs, as My Last Prayer has an infectious hard rock groove with a little prog and a big helping of goth-y melodrama, but there are just enough clichés alongside the echoes of successful early '90s American metal to make it all seem a bit contrived. Listening to the album for its individual qualities and ignoring the scene it arises from reveals a consistently catchy collection of sorrowful but upbeat songs, like "Withered," for example. If you can forgive the band its relative youth on the scene and its appropriation of an established Finnish sound, My Last Prayer is pretty easy on the ears. If not, you're better off sticking with the originators rather than the imitators. (Low Frequency)