Falloch
This Island, Our Funeral


1.5
very poor

Review

by DarkNoctus USER (43 Reviews)
July 14th, 2015 | 29 replies


Release Date: 09/22/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This Album, Our Funeral

I'll be honest - my assessment of Where Distant Spirits Remain (WDSR herein), Falloch's first album, was largely reactionary and immature. Time hasn't made the album resonate any deeper however, and it's still one of the most phoned-in and bland examples of post-rock tinged black metal that you're likely to hear; but it was largely inoffensive and it had occasional moments. Sadly, it seemed that many of the redeeming factors of the band were brought to the table by Andy Marshall, who left not long after the album's release to form his truly excellent Ársaidh and Saor projects. Two albums later, one in each respective project, he's already earned himself a strong foothold in folk metal's current acts, Saor's "Aura" being perhaps one of the most refreshing folk metal albums in years.

So, where has Falloch been? Aside from occasional tours and opening for bands that are infinitely better than they are, not much has been going on until now. There are two directions they could have gone in, really - they could have abandoned all of the influences Andy brought to the table and carved their own identity, or they could have clung to it desperately without any of the convictions Andy clearly had. It appears the latter happened, and "This Island, Our Funeral" is littered with half-baked flashbacks to WDSR without any of the personality. The flutes have none of the great melodies and memorable riffs are utterly absent in a mess of neutered alternative rock sensibilities stretched to unfortunate song lengths. Like, honestly, it's as if any metal band that has long song lengths and attempt a 'dreamy' sound is suddenly a post-rock band. There's very little post-rock in this at all, it's just straight up alternative rock. Which would be fine if it was any good and had the decency to not be 8 minutes a track on average.

Most of the tracks inhibit needlessly slow builds from silence, stripped far too barren to build any tension. When the rock parts do come in, however, the distortion seems so cut back to the point where much of the impact that post-rock often has it lost. Explosions in the Sky are heavier than this, for crying out loud. Most of the guitars are in the rhythm section but have very little texture or presence, let alone heaviness, to carry the music's momentum or atmosphere. It's either that or lightly-distorted guitars playing "melodies" that are annoyingly simplistic and resemble openly strumming the notes of each chord as opposed to writing anything memorable. It's all so indistinct and not structured in a memorable way, and it's no more evident than in the vocals.

Andy's vocals were a contention point for many, me included, but what it lacked in technicality it did tend to make up for in conviction. Tony Dunn's performance, however, has none of it. His open, airy and falsetto performance is utterly faceless and each line sounds just like the last one, making the lyrics and meaning of the album worthless (if it was there to begin with). In varying degrees and ways, every aspect of this album is affected by just that - it's all faceless, bland and not delivered with any heart. It isn't played or structured in any way that could be seen as human.

Truly awful moments aren't quite as abundant here than in WDSR (but they are there - the weak attempt at whistles, that god-awful break half way through "I Shall Build Mountains" containing some of the worst guitar harmonies I've heard in ages), but it honestly makes you question which is worse - having the confidence to do your thing or playing it so safe that nothing you do is of any significance. Falloch crosses the border from kind of bland and awful into offensively and irredeemably bland. With every track sounding just like the last, and not going anywhere worth going to time after time, it is just a waste of resources that hides behind the idea that they have something to say when they don't. There really is no need to go into detail of each track because each one is the same. Bland, boring and faceless. Even the whistles and piano sound like they're there simply to thicken the soundscape as opposed to being able to convey anything.

It's sad - as competent as these young aspiring musicians are there simply isn't a songwriter among them and seem more interested in playing to a trend. A forgettable romp through castrated, stretched-out and forgettable alternative rock songs and very little else.

Oh, and get your piano tuned, lads.



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user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
SomeGuyDude (4.5)
Falloch find their own....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
July 13th 2015


9923 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this was originally written for metallum but falloch was removed from metallum for not being metal enough and my review was sent to be by a mod, shame to let it go to waste

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2015


8322 Comments


good review.

not being metal enough

Lol.

Digging: Tyler, the Creator - Scum Fuck Flower Boy

Hawks
July 13th 2015


48955 Comments


Sweet review bud, never jammed and never will.

Ocean of Noise
July 13th 2015


9427 Comments


black metal and post rock just should never be put together ever ever ever

not to mention black metal and shoegaze just ew ew ew

Digging: Abnormal Thought Patterns - Manipulation Under Anesthesia

Hawks
July 13th 2015


48955 Comments


Nah dude I dig a lot of post bm, but there's some big duds in the genre for sure though.

BMDrummer
July 13th 2015


13877 Comments


the band noctus loves to hate :]

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2015


10039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i liked it better than the first album

DarkNoctus
July 14th 2015


9923 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i don't really love to hate anything [:

cvlts
July 14th 2015


9410 Comments


Noctus' Falloch Crusade, pt 2

yuneek
July 14th 2015


306 Comments


saor is just as bad if not worse

Artuma
July 14th 2015


28585 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

saor is leagues above this

Digging: City of Caterpillar - Driving Spain Up A Wall

Judio!
July 14th 2015


8395 Comments


"saor is just as bad if not worse"

Wtf? How do you figure?

Digging: Moby - Play

ComeToDaddy
July 14th 2015


1506 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That was one scathing review, damn. I found this a little better than the debut, but I do agree with pretty much all your points, the album is pretty lifeless and inoffensive.

Valkyrion
July 14th 2015


1161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"not being metal enough"



Lol. [2]



I also didn't think this was too awful, just standard post-metal, but I've only given it one listen (and I don't plan to give it more)

Evreaia
July 14th 2015


4867 Comments


I could tolerate the first album, it was nothing special but I liked it as background noice haha.





Gyromania
July 14th 2015


22277 Comments


nice review

not being metal enough


Lol.
[3]

DinosaurJones
July 14th 2015


5343 Comments


Between this review and the other one, I feel inclined to check this out.

Tyrael
July 14th 2015


21018 Comments


nice review

their last album was an easy 1/5 so I won't check this

DarkNoctus
July 14th 2015


9923 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I could tolerate the first album, it was nothing special but I liked it as background noice haha.




tbh if you want something backgroundy this might work for you, it's definitely less imposing and just kind of 'there' if you want some generic mood-filling stuff

zaruyache
July 14th 2015


17177 Comments


I was all excited to read a new Noctus review but it's just a repost awww :-(

black metal and post rock just should never be put together ever ever ever

Leucosis, Gottesmorder, Weakling, first Ash Borer LP, Lantlos. The first two especially combine the genres in really unique ways.

Digging: Penguin Cafe - The Imperfect Sea



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