Fallen Sanctuary – Terranova – Album Review

Artist: Fallen Sanctuary

Album Title: Terranova

Label: AFM Records

Date of Release: 24 June 2022

On paper, this album should be a home run. I’m a massive fan of Austrian melodic metal band Serenity, in particular the vocal stylings of Georg Neuhauser which are always out of the top drawer. I also found ‘Viridian’, the 2020-released fifth full-length from Temperance to be a strong record within broadly the same genre. Therefore, putting Neuhauser and Temperance guitarist Marco Pastorino together should be a great idea.

As we all know though, these kind of bands or projects don’t always succeed and I’m afraid that I can only conclude that this is also the case here with Fallen Sanctuary’s debut release, ‘Terranova’. I had high hopes for it, but despite giving it a more than fair crack of the whip, I am very disappointed by it. I hate coming to conclusions like this; it pains me to write reviews that are less than positive. But you’re entitled to read honest reviews, so here we are.

I fully expect that there will be a large number of metalheads that will fundamentally disagree with my opinion here, so I expect ‘Terranova’, which features bassist Gabriele Gozzi, and drummer Alfonso Mocerino, will achieve a certain amount of success regardless. But if you’re on the fence, or just mildly interested in this record, hopefully this will be a helpful exercise for you.

‘Terranova’ contains just about everything you want and expect from a European melodic metal record; it is packed full of saccharine-drenched ear candy, and there’s nothing wrong with big choruses, sing-along lyrics, and hooks aplenty. There’s even a place for a few large slices of cheese too. But, here’s the problem for me: I have listened to the eleven tracks on ‘Terranova’ several times through, and nothing really sticks in my mind. I even took it out on my bicycle ride this evening and listened to it twice through. Just me, the road, my bike, and the music. But it was the same story. A couple of the songs hinted at good things and something to remember, but overall, I found the experience depressingly bland. The music is undeniably melodic, there are choruses aplenty, solos litter the album, the pace is often quick and energetic, and Neuhauser is as proficient a you’d expect with mic in hand. There’s even a foray into melodic hard rock and even acoustic territory. But…

…as far as I’m concerned, the melodies are not catchy enough, the hooks aren’t strong enough, and the whole thing feels a little run-of-the-mill. It’s perfectly decent as far as it goes, but that’s not what I want. I want to be fully entertained, my attention grabbed and not allowed to wander. But wander my mind does, and it’s so frustrating. I’d never suggest that artists of the calibre of Pastorino or Neuhauser are going through the motions here, but that’s how it feels because the album lacks the ‘wow’ factor.

Tracks like the acoustic-led ‘I Can’t Say’ show some semblance of an X-Factor, but it’s all down to the performance of Neuhauser as far as I can tell, rather than a top band performance altogether. The lead solo within ‘Trail Of Destruction’ is also noteworthy within a song that’s perhaps a little more interesting than others but beyond that, I’m struggling.

I mentioned the cheese quota earlier, and the prime example it the opening title track. The press release talks of Fallen Sanctuary’s debut being ‘socio-critical’ and that’s a great thing if done properly, and definitely a change of pace from Neuhauser’s normal historical lyrical content. Admittedly, the song sets a blistering pace with fast riffing and intense drumming, but the closing stages are ruined by a spoken word section about drug abuse. ‘Who is there to help them? Are You?’ It doesn’t sound too bad when written like this, but when it appears in the song, it’s just a little more toe-curling than I’m prepared to accept.

For once, I’m going to shut up and end the review here, rather than ramble on for another 300 words just for the sake of it. I’m fully prepared to lose a few readers as a result of this review, but it’s my honest opinion. ‘Terranova’, the debut album from Fallen Sanctuary was a good idea on paper, but the reality has delivered one of the biggest disappointments for me in 2022 so far. One for devotees of European melodic power metal only.

The Score of Much Metal: 56%

Check out my other 2022 reviews here:

Deathwhite – Grey Everlasting

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika

Seven Kingdoms – Zenith

Brutta – Brutta

White Ward – False Light

Winds Of Tragedy – As Time Drifts Away

Tim Bowness – Butterfly Mind

Denouncement Pyre – Forever Burning

Truent – Through The Vale Of Earthly Torment

Wind Rose – Warfront

Kardashev – Liminal Rite

Artificial Brain -Artificial Brain

Seventh Wonder – The Testament

All Things Fallen – Shadow Way

Def Leppard – Diamond Star Halos

Lord Belial – Rapture

Buried Realm – Buried Realm

Stiriah – …Of Light

Remains Of Destruction – New Dawn

Crematory – Inglorious Darkness

IATT – Magnum Opus

Iris Divine – Mercurial

Decapitated – Cancer Culture

Bekmørk – The Path Nocturnal

Septic Flesh – Modern Primitive

Blut Aus Nord – Disharmonium – Undreamable Abysses

Drift Into Black – Earthtorn

Spheric Universe Experience – Back Home

Outshine – The Awakening

Cosmic Putrefaction – Crepuscular Dirge For The Blessed Ones

Zero Hour – Agenda 21

Scitalis – Doomed Before Time

Morgue Supplier – Inevitability

Visions Of Atlantis – Pirates

Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)

OU – One

Haunter – Discarnate Ails

Aara – Triade II: Hemera

Pure Reason Revolution – Above Cirrus

Demonical – Mass Destroyer

I Am The Night – While The Gods Are Sleeping

Haunted By Silhouettes – No Man Isle

Delvoid – Swarmlife

LionSoul – A Pledge To Darkness

Watain – The Agony And Ecstasy Of Watain

Dischordia – Triptych

Dragonbreed – Necrohedron

Audrey Horne – Devil’s Bell

Vanum – Legend

Stone Broken – Revelation

Radiant – Written By Life

Skull Fist – Paid In Full

Hurakan – Via Aeturna

Incandescence – Le Coeur De L’Homme

Imminent Sonic Destruction – The Sun Will Always Set

Monuments – In Stasis

Soledad – XIII

Viande – L’abime dévore les âmes

Credic – Vermillion Oceans

Postcards From New Zealand – Burn, Witch, Burn

Darkher – The Buried Storm

Treat – The Endgame

Bjørn Riis – Everything To Everyone

Destruction – Diabolical

Et Moriemur – Tamashii No Yama

Angel Nation – Antares

Wolf – Shadowland

Denali – Denali EP

Centinex – The Pestilence EP

Meshuggah – Immutable

Chapter Of Hate – Bloodsoaked Decadence EP

Ancient Settlers – Our Last Eclipse

Tranzat – Ouh La La

Playgrounded – The Death Of Death

Father Befouled – Crowned In Veneficum

Abbath – Dread Reaver

PreHistoric Animals – The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter 2)

Kvaen – The Great Below

Michael Romeo – War Of The Worlds, Part 2

Dark Funeral – We Are The Apocalypse

Carmeria – Advenae

Agathodaimon – The Seven

Moonlight Haze – Animus

Hellbore – Panopticon

Konvent – Call Down The Sun

Idol Of Fear – Trespasser

The Midgard Project – The Great Divide

Threads Of Fate – The Cold Embrace Of The Light

Arkaik – Labyrinth Of Hungry Ghosts

New Horizon – Gate Of The Gods

Cailleach Calling – Dreams Of Fragmentation

Tundra – A Darkening Sky

Sylvaine – Nova

Hath – All That Was Promised

Sabaton – The War To End All Wars

Kuolemanlaakso – Kuusumu

Oh Hiroshima – Myriad

Godless Truth – Godless Truth

Shape Of Despair – Return To The Void

Eight Bells – Legacy Of Ruin

Embryonic Devourment – Heresy Of The Highest Order

Serious Black – Vengeance Is Mine

Allegaeon – Damnum

HammerFall – Hammer Of Dawn

Immolation – Acts Of God

Veonity – Elements Of Power

Nightrage – Abyss Rising

Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Star One – Revel In Time

Pure Wrath – Hymn To The Woeful Hearts

Dagoba – By Night

The Last Of Lucy – Moksha

Arð – Take Up My Bones

Embryonic Autopsy – Prophecies Of The Conjoined

The Devils Of Loudun – Escaping Eternity

Cult Of Luna – The Long Road North

WAIT – The End Of Noise

Abysmal Dawn – Nightmare Frontier

Amorphis – Halo

Nordic Giants – Sybiosis

Persefone – Metanoia

Vorga – Striving Toward Oblivion

Mystic Circle – Mystic Circle

Nasson – Scars

Burned In Effigy – Rex Mortem

Silent Skies – Nectar

Celeste – Assassine(s)

Abyssus – Death Revival

SOM – The Shape Of Everything

Ashes Of Ares – Emperors And Fools

Beriedir – AQVA

Lalu – Paint The Sky

Nocturna – Daughters Of The Night

Battle Beast – Circus Of Doom

Lee McKinney – In The Light Of Knowledge

Descent – Order Of Chaos

Aethereus – Leiden

Toundra – Hex

Ilium – Quantum Evolution Event EP

Power Paladin – With The Magic Of Windfyre Steel

Necrophagous – In Chaos Ascend

Infected Rain – Ecdysis

Wilderun – Epigone

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2021 reviews

2020 reviews

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s