Fell Voices
Untitled


4.5
superb

Review

by Angel STAFF
October 31st, 2011 | 169 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What it sounds like when black metal actually is “transcendental”.

With hordes of groups trying to pretty-up a genre whose entire essence lies in raw emotion and dingy production, Santa Cruz-based band Fell Voices pose the question, “Wasn’t atmospheric black metal beautiful all along?” Their second full-length album joins the band’s already outstanding discography as a rather emphatic nod to answer their own question. While taking a few cues from several other genres, Fell Voices manage to deftly avoid the pitfalls ensnaring so many contemporary outfits that attempt a hybrid of the genre by doing one fairly simple thing - getting the black metal part right.

The first untitled track convincingly lulls the listener with a brief ambient soundscape before erupting into melodic yet aggressive tremolo riffing. The importance of great guitar riffs as the cornerstone of any successful black metal formula seems to be lost on most projects of this era, but Fell Voices put forth guitar work as invigoratingly dark and heavy as hypnotizing. Impeccable drumming and rich bass round out the impressive instrumentation that gracefully pivots from metallic fury to low, dissonant ambience, with the occasional powerful shrieks accentuating their musical counterparts. Perfectly poised transitions and dynamics keep the experience exciting the entire way through, passages of eerie sustained notes and whispered vocals bursting back into blasts with a brief moment’s notice. As with the very best of drone records, a multitude of guitar techniques are wielded masterfully to create a wide range of sounds and moods that are carefully woven into the tightly stitched black metal fabric. Hints of post-rock even line the sonic quilt, with the overall sound favoring the apocalyptic ominousness of Godspeed You! Black Emperor rather than the more docile stylings of Explosions in the Sky. The music is allowed to fully entrance thanks largely to its effectively raw production that perfectly suits each movement and conjures an otherworldly atmosphere on an album that would sound as at home played in a dank, musty basement as it would in the most enchanting boreal groves.

The formality of titles may be forgone, but these two tracks more than speak for themselves. With this, their most impressive work yet, Fell Voices already have a more consistent discography under their belt with just two full-lengths, a demo, and a split than virtually every other American black metal outfit to have existed. If this little group from Santa Cruz, California is the future of the genre, then its coming days appear extremely bright - and its music blissfully dark.



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user ratings (94)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, I figured the best black metal release of the year (sort of) went long enough without a review.

coneren
October 31st 2011


11111 Comments


sweet tracks

cvlts
October 31st 2011


8968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love that shit

Hawks
October 31st 2011


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review as always Angel. As for the album, is this the re-recording of all the songs from the Tour CD-R?

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah. Sounds amazing on vinyl.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


16453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

terrible review neg

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not fair. I can't neg yours anymore.

lobby
October 31st 2011


1251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that awkward moment when you realise you listened to their 2009 album but rated this one

Tyrael
October 31st 2011


20930 Comments


Fantastic review Angel, they were totally right for making you a contrib...

Pos'd so damn hard.

MoosechriS
October 31st 2011


5041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review as always dude, Band is all kinds of awesome. M/

........ Still prefer Ash Borer though :-s

MoosechriS
October 31st 2011


5041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also pos'd

Vesper
October 31st 2011


3085 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I asked Mike to pack me in his suitcase so I could see them, lol.
Goddamnit, I want to see these guys!!

Quality review, as usual, Angel. Ignore that snooty staff member.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Funny thing is, I bet you'd actually fit.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


16453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ignore that snooty staff member.


hey...... hey






hey

Relinquished
October 31st 2011


25311 Comments


"terrible review neg"

ur so mean omg

coneren
October 31st 2011


11111 Comments


yeah he knows

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


16453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i mean pos

Vesper
October 31st 2011


3085 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yep, I could squeeze into a medium size case. A large one if you want to be nice and give me some legroom, hah.



Hehehe, Kyle. :]

Tyrael
October 31st 2011


20930 Comments


Peer pressure ftw

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Where's that Feist review at, Kyle?



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