Album Review no.15: Carnival of Rust - Poets of the Fall

I love Poets of the Fall, they are an awesome combination of rock and pop with a ton of originality and skill in all areas. This is one of their most popular albums and for good reason.

I like the upbeat nature of this song. The first thing that many people notice about this band is the fact that Marko Saaresto is an incredible singer, both in power and technicality. I enjoy the odd use of the loud soft dynamic in this song, by having those loud notes increase in frequency until the entire song explodes into the great chorus.

Sorry Go Round:
I like the fade in at the start and the groovy riff. When thinking about the sound of this band, this is the song that I automatically think of. The vocals are great, with the chorus bringing the song up a lot. While the song is quite simple instrumentally, I still love it, with its slight distortion of the voice, to the almost chaotic chorus section, everything about this one is a winner.

Carnival of Rust:
Usually with bands, I have to think hard about what my favourite song by them would be. In this case, it's no competition, this song is one of the best of all time, bar none. The song is dripping with emotion at every point, which is aided further by the angelic vocals in the song and the acoustic riff. Even when the song's volume increases, everything about it is still so perfect. I have heard many cases of the outro actually bringing people to tears, that's how good this song is.

Locking Up the Sun:
After one banger of a track, we are led directly into another one. While this one isn't as good as Carnival of Rust, it is another song that fits comfortably in my top 50 songs of all time. I like the more rock oriented approach this song has, especially after the last few which felt more like pop songs (I have no problem with that by the way). While this song is mostly chorus focused, that chorus is so good that it doesn't matter, the multi-segmented chorus is absolutely amazing because of the amount of power in it and the fact that it's long enough to avoid being boring.

And the award for the catchiest song on the album goes to... Gravity. Seriously, everything about this song is impossible to get out of your head. The riff is more simplistic than usual, but it sounds really good. I feel that in general, this song is essentially Poets of the Fall lite, the tune is more simple, everything is less heavily produced, the riff is simple etc. The thing is, despite this simplicity, the song is one of the best sounding on the album, I love the relative simplicity because it's just a single song on an otherwise complex album, giving variety, if it came out on a more standard album, it definitely would not have been as memorable for me.

King of Fools:
I love the intro to the song, as well as the generally pretty the song sounds. Unfortunately, I find it to be a fairly repetitive song because as well as the fact that the chorus is being repeated a lot, it isn't as interesting as the likes of Carnival of Rust or Locking up the Sun. Despite this, I at least find the things repeated to be of very high quality.

This is my least favourite song on the album, simply because I find it to be a bit more generic sounding compared to everything else. Even so, the chorus is really nice and it still isn't bad enough to skip.

I really like the vocals in this track, this is accentuated by the fact that the other instruments barely play a part in this song, even the guitar feels detached from the rest of the track. That said, this piece of praise is also the reason that I don't think that this song is amazing, as the 4 minutes can drag on a lot due to this lack of variety. I do find the gradual increase in the roles of the instruments to be nice, but I think that it could have been done somewhat better if the instruments were even more important by the end of the song.

All the Way/ 4U:
This is by far an improvement over the last 3 songs, instead of the slow, quiet ballads being a slight drag, this one truly sounds beautiful and changes stuff up enough to hold my interest. The song's transformation in the second half is the main reason why this song is so great, as everything gets heavier and the vocals become even more powerful than before. The outro is also stunning, with the notes on the piano being backed up by some incredibly high pitched vocals for this band.

After giving this one a few more listens, I can say that this song definitely separates itself enough from Locking Up the Sun for me to praise it greatly. In terms of verses and riffs this is definitely one of the best songs on the album. Everything about this song is nothing but classic Poets of the Fall, the sound on this and Sorry Go Round are the most true to the general sound that the band have going for them. I also love the bridge/last verse when Marko just starts singing thank you to various things.

Maybe Tomorrow is a Better Day:
I find this song to be quite sad, yet also hopeful. The progression between the introductory verse and the main verse is also quite nice, as the song was already great, but gains a greater level of depth and a fuller sound. The section where everything dies down and makes way for an acoustic riff is a nice little section, especially since it leads right back into another amazing chorus.

This was definitely a great choice for the closing track. I always find that ending an album with something beautiful or something brutal is a good thing to do. This is by far the greatest vocal performance on the album, with the high notes being hit quite well and the emotion being felt in the song's entirety. The restrained instrumentals also give Marko another chance to take centre stage. I'm a major fan of the sound of the drums in this song as well, a combination of extremely full sounding beats and ones that nearly sound hollow. All in all, this is a great closing track.

9*10 + 3*8 - 2*9.5 = 95/100

Final Thoughts:
While this album is amazing, I personally believe that this band has even better albums out there. Tat said, there is no denying that this album is absolutely amazing. Despite the occasional dips in quality, the strong songs are some of the best of all time, Carnival of Rust is easily in my top 5 favourite songs of all time and Locking up the Sun is also great. This unfortunately made this album quite difficult to review, as The 2 strongest songs on the album covered almost everything, leaving very little new ground for me to tread past that point. I like how this album has many songs that would be considered extremely similar to pop, as this means that as well as having some sort of easy listen, it also proves that even pop isn't without its gems. That said, it's the ability for this band to combine pop with many rock elements that make this band really good (as well as their songer being amazing). I believe that this is an extremely underrated band in general and that anyone looking for a good album that has more edge than average pop album but wants something lighter than rock or metal should definitely pick up this album. If you are fine with whatever genre you listen to, I still recommend this album, it's truly an album that would be palatable for most people.

My next review will be a not so great album. My current choices are between Humbug by the Arctic Monkeys or the Crusade by Trivium. So until next time, sit back and enjoy some great music and if you think I've said something wrong in my review, please leave a comment, the criticism will greatly improve any future work by me.