I have never heard of Falls of Rauros until recently. I mean, I heard about the Cascadian/Post Black Metal hype many years back, but only few bands I did really made attempt to listen; Agalloch (which I really into), Wolves in the Throne Room (probably the poster child of Cascadian metal) and Panopticon (Autumn Eternal is an A+ release). I only discovered them through Panopticon and boy, where have I been all these while? While I’m impressed to their 2011’s The Light That Dwell in the Rotten Wood, I wonder could Vigilance Perennial top it or at least be on par? I managed to snatch both albums during a sale by Nordvis few months ago.
1. White Granite
2. Labyrinth Unfolding Echoes
3. Warm Quiet Centuries of Rain
4. Arrow & Kiln
5. Impermanence Streakt Through Marble 6. white Granite – Single Version
White Granite opens with a bluesy, clean guitar, I was actually really excited to have another Panopticon like band that injects American folk elements. It didn’t last long though, as the usual Falls of Rauros Black Metal sound kicks in shortly. I don’t know about their last few albums, but in ‘The Light That Dwells…’ album, the echo-ey vocals is no-no to me. I know it’s supposed to be a Black Metal album (to some extent, depending what side you’re on Cascadian Black Metal argument), but the tunnel echo voices is definitely taking the whole thing a bit down 🙁 But you gotta love the build up to guitar solo (or breakdown? I dunno) in White Granite. It’s really beautiful and proggy-ish some sort.
Labyrinth Unfolding Echoes has the Post Rock touch on earlier part with slow build up. Now, I like build up in Post Rock, but I feel it’s taking too long. I noticed that in Vigilance Perennial the band is flirting with Progressive touch and tend to play on a very long winding part. It’s cool, but it got old after a while.
I really love Warm Quiet Centuries of Rain! It has the American folk touch, almost a bluesy-country feel to it. A 2 minutes instrumental, I feel like watching stars under the clear sky with as guitars and piano playing. Calming and brings me closer to nature. Probably the closest in giving what Cascadian Metal is all about… in the most general sense.
Everything picks up again with Arrow & Kiln. This track has more dynamic and emotions to it compared to Labyrinth. And faster too with soaring melodic guitar playing and blast beat dominating throughout. Though the drums might sound muddy, I think at least it keeps in pace and giving a steady pace to the song. Watch out for the clean and proggy part in the middle, it’s really good and some sort of soothing break after the intense blastbeat fest in the earlier part and boom, comes the guitar solo. Nothing groundbreaking, but still good nonetheless. I think this is probably the most interesting track off the album.
I have nothing much to say on Impermanence Streakt Through Marble as I feel the long winding tracks from previous tracks really took a toll on my attention. But I’m pretty sure if you’re into Progressive and Post Rock style, you’d love it. Final track of the album is the shorter version White Granite, which I don’t really care much.
Honestly, I’m comparing ‘Vigilance Prennial’ to their groundbreaking ‘The Light…’ and found several things lacking. Vigilance is noticeably rawer and harsher, and leaning more towards Progressive side which I’m not really fond with. And I really gotta say, their signature melancholic style in ‘The Light’ has almost disappeared. Something probably happened in between these releases and causing them to abandon it. I think ‘Vigilance Prennial’ is an album of acquired taste that needs a several listen to get into it.