There are few things more powerful than an inspirational shared vision. For bassist/vocalist Will Wright and guitarist/vocalist Thomas Cope, friendship and creativity have collided in a shower of brilliant sparks with the arrival of From Insanity’s Ruin, the debut album from UK-based metal ingenues PAST THE FALL. A formidable display of modern metal braggadocio, refined classicism and subtly progressive flair, it is an album that has been a very long time in the making and which represents the long-awaited achievement of childhood dreams.
“Thomas and I have known each other since we were 12 years old, and we started playing music together when we were 15!” says Will. “We were doing okay in a project called Leaden and we’d racked up a fair bit of touring experience, but we all had a meltdown in our early twenties and it seemed like that was the end of it. But once we’d had a few months apart and all the bullshit cleared away and me and Thomas wanted to play together again, and we started the band now as PAST THE FALL. We always felt there was something special about the music we made together, and I love him like a brother so it felt like fate!”
Formed in 2011, PAST THE FALL hit the ground running, recording their first EP, Beggars At The Liars Banquet the following year and releasing it early in 2013. Mixed by Andy ‘Hippy’ Baldwin (Faith No More/Tesseract) and graced with artwork by the legendary Costin Chioreanu (Arch Enemy/Ghost), it was an audacious starting point but one firmly rooted in recognisable thrash and groove metal tropes.
Several years down the line, PAST THE FALL have been transformed by time, progress and maturity. Years of touring experience, including extensive jaunts around the UK, Europe, Mexico and North America have sharpened the band up immeasurably: sharing stages with everyone from cult thrashers Hirax to ex-Judas Priest singer Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens has clearly helped to push Will, Thomas and drummer Sam McLean to new levels of virtuosity and verve.
From Insanity’s Ruin is vastly more adventurous than the band’s early recordings, with both a distinctive and unprecedented blend of nails-hard musical elements and a newfound sense of subtlety and exploration setting the band apart from just about everything else.
“The record we are about to release is special because I would say it’s the culmination of all that work and experience but put into brand new songs,” says Will. “There’s no element on there that we’re not 100 percent happy with. It’s both a fresh start and a fantastic example of all our years of life experience. It feels like the record we had in our heads from day one but now we have the skills to make it.”
Produced by Will and Thomas themselves, From Insanity’s Ruin is full of smart ideas and thrilling dynamics, but it’s also a record full of great songs, powerful melodies and moments of tender melancholy. Above all, it’s an album full of passion, heart and humanity, whether cracking skulls via the brutal, explosive likes of Drainer and Poison Mirror or meandering through genteel, prog-tinged pastures on the multi-faceted Seldom Reason and the trippy and grandiose Maurice. Although still exhibiting plenty of thrash and groove metal ferocity, PAST THE FALL have evolved into something far more interesting, with inspired vocal harmonies and detours into quasi-grunge territory all adding texture and tension to this dark but weirdly uplifting tour-de-force.
“A number of life changing events accrued during the making of this record which fuelled its dark edge,” states Will. “Due to the time invested in the album, I would say it even started to reflect our personal lives and the changes we experienced, which probably makes the experience much more intimate. The songs encompass quite a lot of our experiences in that time, from deaths in the family, long term relationship break-ups, psychopath stalkers, depression and new beginnings, but somehow it has coalesced around a theme. The songs are very introspective and deal with mental health, strength through perseverance and rejecting normal ideals of what’s socially acceptable. But I also think there’s a strong current of hope and honour running through the album too, as well as a lot of excitement about finally having the sound to kick some ass! [Laughs]”
Custom designed to get heads banging and hearts pounding, the songs on From Insanity’s Ruin are destined to grow in stature and might when PAST THE FALL hit the road to take their magnum opus to the masses. With their passion for making music at an all-time high and a wildly idiosyncratic and compelling debut twitching in the starting blocks, these life-long metal brothers are in this for the long haul and ready for anything.
“Next year we want to tour for six months and hit the UK, Europe and North and South America again, and hopefully some more exotic places too,” Will concludes. “We’ve never played any large festivals so that would be the icing on the cake, if we could pack that in too! We’re big believers in the DIY ethic, so to get recognition for the new record and travel and still keep the keys to the kingdom would be the ultimate dream for us. We’ve been doing it the hard way for so long now we don’t mind the extra work!”
From Insanity’s Ruin will be released on October 18th, 2019
Dom Lawson, September 2019