Fall of Efrafa

As a child, one of the movies that left an indelible imprint on my psyche was 1978’s Watership Down. As a five year old I was too young to grasp the political, religious, social and possibly misogynistic undercurrent of the movie based on Richard Adam’s deeply engrossing literary works-I was too busy being horrified by General Woundwort and the generally anti Disney presentation of the movie.

So when I got this second album from the UK’s Fall of Efrafa , Elil, the second in a planned trilogy of albums called The Warren of Snares, loosely based on Adams’s work (the first being Owsla, which I have not heard yet and the third, Inlé, is not yet finished), I was curious to see how this group of intellectual atheists and vegans from England would fare in mixing the metaphors of Adams work within the confines of epic post rock.

In a word? Brilliant. Much like Battlefields’ Stained With the Blood of an Empire which I reviewed early in 2007, despite it coming out in 2006, this is a release that if I had heard in 2007, it’s year of release, it would have made my year end list, and it’s a release that (at least conceptually) breathes some originality to the crowded post rock/Neurosis worship scene.

Despite all the tenets of the genre being heavily handed in place (ebbing acoustic builds, huge crumbling peaks, pained roars, etc), Fall of Efrafa, with Battlefields again being a sonic comparison deliver 3, twenty minute songs that are expansive, enthralling pieces that imbue all the elements of tangible peers from gently building acoustics and haunting atmospherics (God Speed! You Black Emperor), huge, draining, mountainous riffs (Isis, Neurosis) and even D- beat crust. All three tracks have a similar formula that includes all the above, just mixed in at various times as well as some well placed spoken word (from Adam’s work I assume).

Opener “Beyond the Veil” has six minutes of repetitive but hypnotic build, before crescendo-ing into a thunderous hardcore gallop for its mid section and a suitably epic climax. Second track “Dominion Theology” puts the hardcore canter nearer the beginning, and is overall the albums most introspective, evocative track with chord progressions and textures that hit you right in the soul. Closer “For El Ahraihrah to Cry” has a somber, draining first few moments before developing into a surprisingly uplifting metalcore gallop, before ending with a suitably majestic yet despondent closure.

Where most albums of this genre often bleed into one long track, Elil, while not on The Ocean levels of ambitiousness, is a gem of a record from a unassuming and eloquent band that has a grasp of the genre while injecting their own unique themes and characters. I mean how many post rock records are about rabbits?

Amazing stuff.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 21st, 2008


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    ok I’ve never read the book and I barely remember the cartoon (I was equally as enthralled with it) but based on the spoken word section in For El Ahraihrah to Cry, I’m getting my ass to the bookstore tonight.

  2. Commented by: Mikey

    thank you very much for the kind review, it really means a lot! To the chap above, the quote in “For El Ahraihrah to Cry” comes from a piece by Richard Dawkins, not from Watership down!

    Thanks again x

  3. Commented by: bast

    Quite overwhelming indeed!

  4. Commented by: ShaolinLambKiller

    I found this album excellent. Was never boring for the length of all the songs. Absolutely stellar.

  5. Commented by: gabaghoul

    almost done reading Watership Down, loving it. gonna order this too.

    Dawkins: duh should’ve known that. I have The God Delusion sitting at home but haven’t gotten to it yet (have read some of the other New Atheist stuff though, Dennett and Harris).

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