Saturday, July 20, 2019

Falls of Rauros :"Patterns in Mythology"

The fifth album from this Portland band finds the boundaries of the black metal label a little to confining. Five albums in can you blame them ? This is felt from the opening instrumental that could be one of Russian Circles more metallic moments, feels like more of an intro and less of a song to me. "Weapons of Refusal" carries more of a snarl. The sonic buzz of the tremolo picked guitar is well done, though not invoking the sense of darkness I want from black metal. I am not saying this is not black metal or false, but certainly comes at it from a lighter angle. There is an almost folk break at the six minute mark. Not a new trick for the band, but done in a more introspective manner. The guitar tones on this album are incredible . The over all production is very crisp. Perhaps if it had been dialed in a little rougher like say a Craft album, any questions of blackness would be mute

There is some great guitar playing going into the song "New Inertia".  We can say this is post whatever. It is a blend of melodic playing countered by the hateful vocals. These screams sit atop the song which still sweeps you away with it's majesty despite the band vomiting the obligatory blast beaten sections. If you miss when Deafheaven once played something closer to metal then this will appeal to you. They are not just going for a sound, but a well layered and dynamic approach to song writing.  "Renouvellement" is slower and more atmospheric with actual sung vocals surfacing midway into the song. It almost sounds  like it is an intro to a prog rock song.

There is a more casual rock feel going into "Last Empty Tradition' with guitar playing that will appeal to fans of shred guitar though this is more tasteful than a barrage of wanking arpeggios. The vocals are marginally lower growl. Still surrounded by dazzling guitar playing, though not heavy or the dark dissonance one might associate with black metal.It seems like they have grown away from the expected confines of the genre. There is a wonderful shift in mood midway into the song, though this does give way to a build up that has more aggression, thus fitting closer into being black metal. Though I do not feel anything that is particularity dark about these moments. `

Bass leads off the last song, that is more mid paced. This deliberate tempo offers more opportunity for layered guitar melodies.This is sacrificed in order to pick up the pace and go into the more typical American black metal sound. In the songs final minutes they bring it down to a mellower strum. Overall this is one of the better sounding albums in the blackened zip code I have heard this year . I will give it a 9.5. I think I gave you enough reasons why you might like this album, so no need to sum that up. Give it a spin.

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