Review Summary: If you like Wolves in the Throne room, long songs and don’t have a short attention span then this one would be for you.
The woods of Cascadia have recently become a home for two reclusive bands which go by the names: “Wolves in the throne room” and “Fauna”. The former have managed to achieve a cult and place Cascadia on the “metal map”. To the annoyance of the wildlife “Fauna” have the ambition to send more genre defying shockwaves by releasing similar music with “WITTR”. Their debut was released the same year with Diadem of twelve stars but somehow stayed under the radar.
Don’t think this is a rip off of any short. This definitely has a unique twist that differentiates it from their peers. “Rain” only contains one (title) track lasting over one hour. It starts with (a field recording I guess) 5 minutes of mild rainfall which sets the mood. Afterwards acoustic guitars weave solemn soundscapes which work as a build up for what is to come. Around the 20 minute mark the black metal part kicks in. This is the first point in which the listener will inevitably compare these guys with “WITTR” as it is one of those powerful, fast outbursts that have become more or less a trademark of “WITTR” since their debut. The track slowly evolves as the pace changes and turns in some drony chords which are also (guess what) similar to the ones in Diadem of twelve stars. The song evolves at a snail’s pace and changes from mid paced black metal passages to the already mentioned outbursts and more drony chords. It is very repetitive but manages to stay interesting (except for the first drony passage) and leaves a very positive feeling at the end.
The drums are mostly on the background and are either blast beats or slower mid paces patterns depending on what the guitars are playing. They serve more as a backbone to the song rather than coming forward and stealing the show. The bass is unspectacular since it stays on the low end and is difficult to discern.
The vocals are the lowlight of the album. They sound as if a punk vocalist decided to try something between a scream and a growl. They are however much better than those annoying scratchy Varg Vikernes-esque shrieks others try to pull off. The lyrics are about nature (what a surprise) and I find them quite appealing and thought provoking. To appreciate them you have to read the whole thing but here’s a sample:
Hands blackened with my own blood
Piece me back together
Unburden the gutted beast
Fill the abyssal chest with leaves
I, great wound the wind whips,
This album/song is a good way to pass an hour. It would be great as background music when you want to concentrate or as something relaxing.