Review Summary: An excellent debut, Marras solidifies October Falls as a band worth seeking more of.
Marras. An album stripped down to a bare minimum of an acoustic guitar with piano and flute appearances. Folk music with a small, articulate amount of music. No vocals, bass, or percussion from the bands’ only member, Mikko Lehto. Yet he doesn’t need them to create an album with atmosphere and depth on his first long-playing record, Marras.
With eight tracks and over thirty minutes of music, the album certainly has flow, rarely growing boring. However, it will take a few ganders to actually feel, to actually get. It has a tendency to grow after a few listens, with the first few implying that Marras is boring. But with repeated listens, if the listener has not already caught on, Lehto’s first effort will begin to reveal itself as an album that moves quickly (at least after the first song, Marras I). The album also reveals that Mikko is upright impressive; progressions in songs, songwriting ability, and just playing are altogether executed excellently.
October Falls’ debut does not come without flaws though. There is just major one, that being the first track. Marras I is well over-done, stretching over the six-minute mark, and holds its title as the longest song on the album. The length is not what concerns me, but rather the fact that it’s the same three-minute song played twice with a nice piano/soundscape outro. This cannot work with the rest of the album being just as stripped down, and also weakens a listener’s expectations. It is also, as mentioned, a slow starter to an album that’s better. While Marras I is beautiful, and just as amazing as the rest of the album, it can put you to sleep before you hear the rest of it.
The rest of the album is, without a doubt, a soothing and concise album. Soothing because a haunting, far away atmosphere take you to another place, beautifully significant and warm, depressive and cold at the same time. Concise because it has little range of instruments, yet has a powerful effect. Marras is definitely an album worth looking into for any music fan, because with mellow neofolk like this, no one can afford to miss it.