This Island, Our Funeral

The debut Where Distant Spirits Remain, from Glasgow’s Falloch was an interesting post rock/black metal/grey metal opus with Agalloch-ian hues. However it was the work of a duo, Andy Marshall and Scott Mclean, and Marshall since left the band (creating more atmospheric black/Celtic metal with Saor, which I highly recommend) leaving McLean to rebuild, and rebuild he has with a full line up including new bassist, vocalist and drummer. But the results may disappoint a few, especially those who want more , well…. metal.

The new iteration of Falloch delves far more into pure post rock than grey/black or folk pastures of your, even though strain is Celtic/Scottish thematic and lyrical elements are scattered around the release. What we have now is a band much more entrenched in the sounds more akin to Sigur Ros, Sólstafir newer Alcest and to these ears, the likes of Day Without Dawn/Biclops and even Burst and later Cave In.  But the thing is, I’m really enjoying it. Its perfect winter music and a nice break from the usual growling, misogyny that death metal offers.

Falloch were never really a full on metal band on the debut anyways, utilizing amicable all clean croon, and new singer Tony Dunn has a similar, airy, clean, almost pop voice, and while it has a certain Irish charm, he lacks real range, depth and emotion, but it still works in the framework of the sprawling, jangly riffs and misty, loch and rolling hill scape imbuing atmospherics.

The songs are all rangy 5- 12 minute affairs laden with acoustics and shimmering patient builds and ebbs, strumming riffs and soaring singing. There’s no crumbling peaks or slightly blacker blasts. This is pure, sonic introspection, perfect for late night headphone listening to lull you to sleep. The guitars and production in general is lush and has a nice, warm density, so songs like “Brahan”,”I Shall Build Mountains” or album centerpiece, closer “Sanctuary” carry a little weight, but roll like mists off the highlands rather than rumble with thunderous heft. But for the most part it’s melodramatic, but stirring hymnal patience like “For Uir” (and its gorgeously fitting video above), “For Life” or sumptuous, Celtic tinged opener “Torradh” .

This Island, Our Funeral is a relaxing, gorgeous album. Though I’m sure it will ruffle the feather of ‘real’ metal fans, it’s deserving the ear of the more discerning, open minded metal fan that appreciates passionate art as well as blast beats or screeching.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 17th, 2015


  1. Commented by: Jay

    Nice review brother. I can dig on stuff like this, especially during these cooler months. Going to check some out tonight.

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