Where Distant Spirits Remain

Now this one is definitely interesting. As someone who tends much more towards the death/extreme end of metal, I signed up for this one having no idea what to expect. Based on what I have read, this band falls under the post-black/folk/shoegaze brand of metal. Being unfamiliar with this genre I have no comparisons off the top of my head, but I found a lot to like with this album.

Falloch is the work of just two men – Andy Marshall, who handles the bass, guitar and vocals, and Scott McLean, who handles the drums and keyboards. Both men teamed up earlier with a band called Concept of Time, and Marshall gained some notoriety for his previous work with Askival.

The first track starts out with a slow acoustic guitar intro, setting the tone before the percussion kicks in after about twenty seconds. The clean vocals start shortly after that, and I have to say Marshall has a pretty damn good voice on him. His vocals have a presence that really adds to the epic feeling of the album. The vocals drop off about halfway through, and we get more acoustic guitar before the outro that ups the tempo and actually features some blast beats. These are not death metal blasts, but this first track really sets the stage for the rest of the album.

Track two starts right off the bat with some faster double bass, and here we get the first taste of what sounds like a tin whistle which I have to say is incredibly well placed. It shows its face here and on the first instrumental, “Horizons”, and it adds such a presence and sense of ambiance to the music I would have liked to have seen it used more often. We also see Marshall taking an Opeth-ian turn with some harsh vocals, which are use here and very sparingly throughout some of the other tracks on the album. His versatility is displayed quite impressively here.

Following the aforementioned instrumental is “Where We Believe”, a ten minute monster of a track that really brings all of Falloch’s elements together in one cohesive unit. You get the slow guitars and percussion, tempo changes, harsh/clean vocals, and the blast beats which show up again towards the end of the track. It’s easy to see why this is the one track they chose to put up on their Myspace page.

The album closes out with a keyboard instrumental, which is a fitting end to an album like this. At a little over 50 minutes, it’s easy to say this album is truly an experience and one that you will want to listen to when you can truly focus your attention on it. It features many different elements and genres all put together, and are pulled off with precision that an album like this demands. The way the vocals and the instruments intertwine and play off of each other is fascinating to behold and makes for one hell of a debut album. It will be interesting to see what they explore with their sophomore effort.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
November 1st, 2011


  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    No Agalloch comparison?

  2. Commented by: stiffy

    Really like this. A lot of potential for future releases.

  3. Commented by: jerry

    how do i pronounce this? like “phallic?”
    because that’s funny.

  4. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    probably no Agalloch comparison because it doesn’t sound like he knows them…

  5. Commented by: Reignman35

    No I am not familiar with them, hence no reference.

    And Jerry I thought the same thing when I heard this band name…

  6. Commented by: Tim

    I think it’s “PH-UHL-O-KH”

    “Loch” -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFzE-xOCFLw 23 secs in

    It’s a waterfall in Scotland and means ‘whisper’ apparently.

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