Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Black Metal History Month - Falls of Rauros : "Vigilance Perennial"

Claiming the throne from Agalloch , this band from Portland really comes into their own from the sound of the majestic stomp that drives the opening track off their new album "Vigilance Perennial". The guitar playing is the strong point, staying equal parts melodic and aggressive , with much more metal riffing than some of the more hipster cascadian black metal bands. "Labyrinth Unfolding Echoes" could very well be an Explosions in the Sky song. This speaks to the quality of their clean tones, though this is ripped apart when the blast into the three minute mark. The vocals are a hateful mid range rasp. The drumming is the most raw sounding element to their sound, though the bass is typically buried somewhere south of Mordor. Some of the tricky timing of the punches winks in a more Liturgy like direction so you can certainly grow a cool beard to this.+

After the clean guitar interlude they play it a little safer on "Arrow and Kiln" we get some cool guitar harmonies, that are not on an Iron Maiden level, but for black metal pretty good ad then the bass player wakes up and we hear him emerge from a better mix.  Any guitar players under the impression that black metal guitar is boring and simplistic need to give this album a listen. This song doesn't feel like it is 12 minutes long so they are doing something right. The last minute finds a cleaner guitar tone creep in, and think the varied guitar tones are one of the strong points of this album. As long as there are layers you have a more appealing dynamic sound.

And the solid guitar playing keeps coming on the closing song. They do bring in tremolo guitars but it is layered against a more post rock shimmer and the effect is something other bands need to pay more attention to. The guitar solo to this song is really well done and tasteful and adds to the song rather than just wanking on it's chin. The vocals chime in with more of a gang vocal chant that makes me think these guys were into hardcore before they got into a black metal band. This album is great for what it is a very enjoyable listen I will give it a 9.5, but unsure if it will make the journey over to the iPod because the songs are so long.


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