Fall of the Leafe Volvere

The much-softened Fall of the Leafe are now onto their fourth album, 11 tracks that bear more in common with hard rock than extreme metal. Opener "A Waiting Room Snap” has a catchy appeal, but most of the material that comes after doesn’t live up. It’s partly the warring of a light-hearted rock and roll vibe against a sombre moodiness, both approaches carelessly interlaced by the guitars. Part of the blame lies with slightly snarled vocals as well, doubled over each other to the point where drawled-out lyrics can’t be followed, texture hardly varies, and the whole thing begins to echo commercial rock radio. A welcome diversion, the keyboards give Volvere a vaguely progressive bent, showing up best in "Pillar of the Sun,” which hints at the band’s enduring taste for thick and heavy guitars, prog, and even vocal harmonies. Sadly, the album as a whole disappoints the promise a couple of its songs suggest, as Fall of the Leafe move further onto ground that other bands tread far more firmly. (Rage Of Achilles)