October Falls
A Collapse of Faith

Okay, so I’m a few months late on this one, but it’s still the right weather outside to grab your headphones and take October Falls’ newest for a wintry walk. As with 2008’s excellent The Womb of Primordial Nature, A Collapse of Faith doesn’t rush headlong through the forest – it explores, wanders and breathes in the mountain landscape. That might sound like a very mellow listening experience, but this band is a perfect example how you can take a normally violent, raw and aggressive genre (black metal), and turn it into something much closer to reverie – and without a blooming shoegazer chord or keyboard to be heard.

There are only three tracks here, named simply I, II and III. The first two are long, rolling compositions, each built around repeated passages and motifs, and each using a well-honed balance of beautiful Finnish melody, ragged crunch and cavernous vocals. Drumming is steady and patient, solos are bright and ringing, and there’s a more audible, adventurous bassline than before. The quiet acoustic moments are simply sublime, recalling the grace of countrymates Tenhi. There’s even a lovely piano outro on II – the perfect bridge before III wraps up the album with a soaring, mournful and thunderous finale.

Overall, the writing on A Collapse of Faith is quite similar to Womb, but the sound has deepened and matured. Womb‘s thin, reedy tones reminded me of Orchid-era Opeth, whereas this one sounds a lot closer to dense, naturalist black metal like Negura Bunget. Vocals are thicker too – Orchid was a big reference point on Womb, but here, M. Lehto’s delivery is a deeper, more bestial growl. Ultimately I think I still prefer Womb for its slightly rawer, mid ’90s black metal sound, but that might just be the nostalgia speaking.

If you have never heard October Falls, this is still an excellent place to start, and is recommended for fans of Agalloch, Insomnium, Drudkh, early Opeth, Rapture, etc. Just take it outside, will ya?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
February 11th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Stiffy

    This guy has gotten really decent over the years. I wasn’t too impressed with his debut but this one is great and I’ve been working backwards through his stuff.


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