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Falls of Rauros: Patterns in Mythology

The world of folk-inspired black metal art is one of extreme music’s most prolific developments, its adherents building on the wave of Norwegian darkness of the 90’s to expand its scope with progressive touches and acoustic instrumentation. Picking up the torch of this movement since 2005 has been Portland, Maine natives Falls of Rauros. The collective has just released its fifth opus entitled Patterns In Mythology, on Gilead Media, looking to build upon the sprawling, nuanced journeys of prior albums.

When folks think of black metal, the violent immediacy of acts like Venom and Mayhem usually come to mind. With Falls of Rauros, the compositions wax and wane like the seasons, sprawling and stretching their legs within the listener’s psyche. It is usually in the wake of their songs that one realizes how intense the journey truly was. A song like “Last Empty Tradition,” for example, caresses the listener with dreamy riffs and leads before it breaks like waves on a beach. Shrieks and shouts follow prog-inspired solos, and even the blasting parts are not without enunciated guitars that resist any descent into chaos.

This is not to say that Falls of Rauros cannot bring the aggression too. “Weapons of Refusal” is a downright bad-tempered storm of sound, starting the album off on a brutal note. At just over eleven minutes in length, its no surprise that the mood breaks at the five-minute mark. Quiet, lonely guitar melodies ensue, and the listener has a chance to reflect in the eye of a greater aural attack. This is a band perfect for long walks on isolated streets or trails. The soloing and build-up here, swelling and beautiful, wouldn’t sound out of place in a prog metal band. Yet with Falls of Rauros, technicality never takes the place of feeling. The harsh vocals remain just the other side of understandable, meaning they sound human enough.

In the middle of the album, “Renouvellement” provides a respite from the heavier sounds, and the choral aspects of the dungeon-music style affair provide majesty and give it weight. The real strength on Patterns in Mythology resides in the stunningly well-crafted guitar leads, and the synthesis between these metallic parts and the interludes of noodling guitar which dwell between the heavy periods. This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in closer “Memory at Night,” a sterling ode of longing perfectly suited to stormy New England days and nights.

A logical follow-up to 2017’s great Vigilance Perennial, the better production values on Patterns in Mythology result in one of the band’s most solid efforts, ensuring continued growth for these talented young men.

Track Listing:

  1. Detournement
  2. Weapons of Refusal
  3. New Inertia
  4. Renouvellement
  5. Last Empty Tradition
  6. Memory At Night

Added: July 24th 2019
Reviewer: Nicholas Franco
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1157
Language: english

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