Monday, July 26, 2010

October Falls - A Collapse of Faith

Full-length, Debemur Morti

Finally…One of the most awaited releases of this calendar year is out. It has been around 2 years since their mastermind; M. Lehto released ‘The Womb of Primordial Nature’ and left everybody speechless. Expectations for the next release were high as October Falls have released some brilliant material throughout the years. This is one of the few bands that do not have a single weak release in their entire catalogue. So, ‘The Collapse of Faith’ should surpass all expectations too, right? DAMN RIGHT. What we have here is a beautiful, majestic release that will take you on a moving, captivating journey which is both, soothing and depressing at times.

In ‘The Collapse of Faith’, October Falls have picked up where ‘the Womb of Primordial Nature’ left off. It basically consists of one long 42 minute track divided into three parts. And each part flows seamlessly into the next. The main feature of the composition of the songs is their simplicity. There are just a few main riffs and the rest are all subtle variations added to them. There are hardly any catchy riffs or any epic lead riffs that define a particular track. But that is not a bad thing. The whole songs flow gracefully and seamlessly as one and keep the listener captivated to it without losing the slightest bit of attention throughout the 40+ minutes that they run for. Another feature of the album is the stunning interplay between the electric and acoustic guitars. The whole album carefully blends the electric and acoustic sets against a background of melancholy and gloom. Every song builds upon itself until it reaches a point where it all comes crashing down in a climax, only to begin anew with a single soft acoustic guitar and start the cycle again. Lehto’s raspy vocals are perfect for this music. There are hardly any variations in them but are perfect and add to the atmosphere of the songs. Certain parts where the tremolo picked riffs merge with the beautiful acoustic strumming in the background with the Lehto’s rasps ranting against humanity and society create a morose atmosphere that has to be felt to be experienced. The drumming in this release is excellent. It adds yet another dimension to this album and also adds to the overall sound with his chaotic fills during the transitions from one riff to another.

There is a lot of melody to be found here. Right from the acoustic start to the riffs and the majestic piano bit towards the end of part II, melody is found in abundance. But it is never overdone or cheesy. The production is perfect. They have achieved the perfect blend between the rough production and clarity. It couldn’t have been better.

This is a stunning release. Right from the acoustic part which starts the album, it is an experience. Not meant for just a casual listen. The album is a culmination of everything that October Falls have done so far and could be branded as their best release yet. This album is depressing, but not in an evil or a suicidal way. Its beauty radiates emotion, sadness and melancholy. This is not a release that gets old quickly. In fact, its been getting better with every listen.

Definitely recommended for people with an open mind and fans of Agalloch, Empyrium, Katatonia, Drudkh, old Opeth or anyone who is into black/folk and neofolk. This is October Fall’s most complete work so far.


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