War is always going to be a timely theme. Prog has generated at least two classic ‘war-based’ albums: Floyd’s The Final Cut and It Bites’ Map Of The Past. Building on their EP Rain, FTG’s Fall might yet count as a third. Main men Pete Riley and Andy Nixon’s vision is full of Floydian textures and effects – hardly surprising given that FTG emerged out of their involvement in a Floyd tribute band – but the keyboard work is bolder than anything Roger Waters conceived.
On anthemic opener, Silent Code – which features marvellous guest keys from Badfinger’s Bob Jackson – Riley sings ‘When they fall, the hand they reach for is a world away…’ Fall relentlessly develops this truth. Riley and Dixon create convincing voices for an apprentice carving WW1 gravestones, for Alan Turing, and the combatants of more recent wars.
Tonally the mood is very much mid-to-late Floyd, while the vocals have the warm character of Roine Stolt. Occasionally, perhaps the Floydian influences are too obvious, but this is an extraordinarily confident and atmospheric meditation on the pity of war. Fans of guitar wig-outs should check this album out for Nixon’s licks alone – by turns soaring, sweet and emotionally satisfying.