I recently finished a book entitled ‘USBM: A Revolution of Identity in American Black Metal’ by Daniel Lake, and of all the bands and labels covered in this epic tome, Falls of Rauros and Gilead Media were two of the entities that intrigued me the most. So when a promo came in for the bands new album, ‘Key to a Vanishing Future’, I jumped at the chance to lay out my thoughts for the bands sixth full length release.
It has an inauspicious start, a very ordinary and throw away intro which thankfully is short in length and soon finds Falls of Rauros ploughing forward at a mid tempo pace and sporting some anguished howls and growls to the accompaniment of very melodic guitar leads, and a pummelling bass performance and sturdy yet unspectacular drumming. Cleaner vocal work soon joins they fray to sync with the more abrasive tones, but both vocal styles feel lost in the production which seems to favour the bass and guitar leads more than anything else.
Fall of Rauros wear their folkish melodic influences firmly on their sleeves to be sure, and as the album progresses through ‘Desert of Heart’ it becomes increasingly obvious that the band have moved quite far away from their Black Metal elements into an increasingly harmonious path of jazz like song structures, wandering atmospheric melodies and soaring synth and guitar leads.
In truth the album is a more than listenable experience and worthy of attention, however it is far from what I was expecting and feels for the most a little fair weathered, soft and pliant with the odd spike of aggression. It’s a pleasant album, which again is far from what I thought I’d experience. (Marksson)