Review Summary: The flaws within this record are limited, as Fall of Efrafa release one of the greatest atmospheric albums ever.
Following the narrative - the Owsla abandon their god. Stricken down by the hand of man (Efrafa) - they walk away, tugged at by the memories ’All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.’
The word elil is a very strange one indeed. It is the word used to describe animals that are predators, and more specifically, prey on rabbits. For those of you who are unaware, Fall of Efrafas 2007 release is based on a 1978 movie (and the original book) called ‘Watership Down,’ a film revolving around the relationship between rabbits and man. However, there is a very urgent underlying message that Fall of Efrafa imply with all these references, and it is based on the very debatable topic of religion. They use quotes from Richard Dawkins book ‘The God Delusion,’ and also refer to passages from a bible and frequently mention religious figures, mirroring the stance adopted by the novel, one that idealises about how people die from ignorant ideologies and are oppressed by religion.
Elil, similar to many Godspeed You! Black Emperor releases, is only three songs long. Each surpassing the twenty minute mark, it makes this record a very interesting listen, yet not in the way GY!BE releases are. The atmosphere on display in Elil is one that mars most other similar attempts. The length of each song plays a big part in the overall feel of the record, Fall of Efrafa have limitless time on their hands to plant down their ideologies and set a very definable feel for the release.
‘Watership Down’ is a very bleak, violent novel and movie, one that is not meant for young children, despite its appearance. Elil takes on the first two of these characteristics. The raw power adopted in this record is one of the key aspects to Fall of Efrafa. Thoroughly simple chord progressions are played with a staggering violence, one that creates this album a systematically better listen. The rare muscle that helps the vocalist roar out his lyrics adds overall substance to an already vehement record. Yet the album is not only full of mere ferocity. A dark, deep ambient feel is commonly bought to the listener’s attention via haunting guitar melodies. These refrains are generally slow, murky and very depressing. Combined, these two physiognomies procure one of the greatest atmospheric albums to ever be released.
Fall of Efrafa don’t break down into roaring guitar solos, nor do they include ten minute drum fills that can quite often rip apart an attempted ether. However it is this lack of over-complexity that allows Elil to fulfil its purpose and represent its important message. Aside from the brilliant, spooky, clean guitar phrases the guitar work rarely strays from simple power chords. Yet again, this decision is what makes the album so gratifying, the listener is able to focus and take in all that Fall of Efrafa have put up for display. The drums, although usually at a walking pace, provide superb accompaniment to the rest of the track. The potential is definitely there, the listener can certainly identify that each band member is boundlessly talented. This is easily acknowledged, even though most band members seldom rip off the essential shackles that make this record as successful as it is.
Each of the three tracks move along at their own pace, which is generally a dawdling speed. This pace allows the record to be as brutal as it is, one that would be severely dented if Fall of Efrafa were to hasten their tempo.
Everything about this album has been thought out, structurally, musically and lyrically. The strong ideologies exposed by ‘Watership Down,’ are fittingly paralleled within Elil’s stanzas. The sludgy command emulated by each instrument creates an aura revolving around Fall of Efrafas release, one of immense forte.
For those that do not have this record, rest assured it is an essential and you are missing out on a lot.
Religion, in all its forms is based on one thing; control. It is a set of beliefs which is created to indoctrinate, suppress and strangle the thoughts of those who choose to embrace it. It holds nothing more substantial than the rambling thoughts of groups of humans who wished to use it for one purpose or another. "