October Falls
The Womb of Primordial Nature


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Ward EMERITUS
November 13th, 2008 | 79 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


Generally speaking, the last decade and black metal haven’t gotten along very well. With a few exceptions, the genre has fallen to fairly abysmal lows considering how many quality albums were being released in the early to mid 1990’s. Nowadays, the “magic” of the genre is more or less depleted, leaving behind nothing but fragmented shells of black metal acts which don’t really have the same intensity that most bands had back then. It is apparent that, when listening to nearly every single classic black metal album, the genre was about more than just the music. It’s difficult to describe to those who haven’t really heard it in full, but the sheer emotion put forth in said albums was quite daunting. However, black metal has for the most part dripped off into a muddy puddle full of heartless black metal bands that play the same old thing over, and over, and over, and over. The only saving grace to the genre are the few bands who remain that embrace the genre for what it really is, a form of expression.

I can guarantee that, when one thinks of such bands, Finnish folk/ambient black metal act October Falls is not the first to cross your mind, if it does so at all. It’s quite a shame too, since sole mastermind Mikko Lehto has more than his fair share of ideas to contribute to a slowly fading black metal scene. Lehto has composed two full-length albums, three EP’s and one split since October Falls was created in 2001. The vast majority of this work, one LP, two EP’s and the split, that is, contain nothing more than serene dark folk which brings to mind some of the atmospheres created by the most emotional of black metal albums, but other than that hints at nothing toward the genre. However, 2007’s EP The Streams Of The End incorporated harsh black metal amidst the folk melodies and melodic leads, created something which is relatively intriguing, and undoubtedly well-composed. One year later, and Lehto is back at it with October Falls’ second full-length album The Womb Of Primordial Nature. The album continues where The Streams Of The End left off, but this time bringing to a more melodious, refined level, creating something truly remarkable for the modern black metal scene.

The first reason why this is remarkable is just that, it isn’t pure black metal. It is a clever hybrid of October Falls’ earlier folk music with a very melodic style of black metal, filled with complex layered riffs and the astounding drumming contributed by guest musician Marko Tarvonen, that’s right, Marko Tarvonen from esteemed Viking/folk metal band Moonsorrow. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, then the fact that The Womb Of Primordial Nature is one of the most sound black metal releases in years should be. The album is divided into four rather lengthy tracks, two of which extend over ten minutes with the remaining two falling just short at eight and nine minutes, respectively. Each track has a centralized focus, whether it is a lingering riff, a folk interlude, or something as simple as a traditional chorus, every track has something familiar within its run time to drive home the fact that you are listening to a single connected track, not just a ten minute clump of various ideas called a single “song”. It is this focus on a specific portion of the song that helps draw the atmosphere of the album closer, making it more unique and personal to each song, since a heavy, depressing atmosphere was obviously something that Mikko Lehto was striving to achieve. It is down to earth and attributes a lot to nature, much like what Agalloch tries to convey on Pale Folklore, but it is distinctly different in it’s delivery.

The guitars aren’t of your traditional black metal fare; there are very little grinding riffs to be found, even in the rhythm section. Both the lead and rhythm guitars contribute to a single wonderful melody which complements the numerous acoustic interludes and bridges with perfection. Each track is literally filled with melodic guitar leads, so fans of such riffs will certainly not be disappointed. The guitars contrast with the raspy, perfectly executed vocals with a firm resolve. It is this contrasting between each of the instruments which makes everything work so beautifully, since nothing sounds the same or lazy. Even the bass works its way in, giving sweet licks about five minutes into “III”, letting you know that every single instrument was remembered and composed as such.

It cannot go without recognition the sheer quality of the drumming on this album. Moonsorrow drummer Marko Tarvonen drags the music away from the normal black metal blast beats and gravity blasts with a superb performance, barely ever, if at all, resorting to the cliché black metal style to keep the beat going. Whether it is double bass, crashing cymbals, or a biting snare, the drums are always a surprise and never predictable. This, along with the perfect songwriting and instrument performance, makes each track a highlight, while also giving the added benefit of including absolutely none (zero!) filler material on the entire album.

October Falls cut the fat off from around to edges to deliver the album which The Streams Of The End was striving to be, and what many bands who play the same style so desperately desire. The Womb Of Primordial Nature is, without a doubt, the most solid black metal release of the year, and is in the top five albums of 2008. It is everything and more which a listener could want out of a folk/melodic black metal album, and it is a sound which I certainly hope Mikko Lehto continues to pursue along with October Falls’ original sound of dark ambient and folk. If I was to put my money on who, at this moment, has the most potential out of any unknown band in the metal world, I would bet on October Falls without a single shred of hesitation.



Recent reviews by this author
Insomnium Heart Like A GraveKauan Kaiho
Insomnium Winter's GateBe'lakor Vessels
Novembre UrsaSwallow the Sun Songs From The North I, II & III
user ratings (101)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Emeritus
November 13th 2008


17429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A very strong 4, may very well be bumped to a 4.5.

Bleak123
November 13th 2008


1900 Comments


Good review dude, doesn't really look to be my thing. Only black metal stuff I seem to like is Windir, Dimmu Borgir and Alcest (not really black metal I know), plus some of the more folk orientated stuff.This Message Edited On 11.13.08

Crysis
Emeritus
November 13th 2008


17429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

plus some of the more folk orientated stuff.


This is the reason why you should check this out. Seriously.This Message Edited On 11.13.08

Bleak123
November 13th 2008


1900 Comments


Ok ok, I will look into this. My above statement looks stupid bearing in mind the whole review is basically about how this is folk and black metal but ya know? Whatever. I meant folk bands with a black metal influence rather than the other way round if that makes sense?


Crysis
Emeritus
November 13th 2008


17429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It does, and the folk-y sections of the album are pretty much solely acoustic guitar, but that doesn't take away the fact that, for BM, this is rather accessible.

rasputin
November 13th 2008


14968 Comments


Good review man, will check this out when I can.

charlesfishowitz
November 13th 2008


1794 Comments


Good review man, will check this out when I can.

rasputin
November 13th 2008


14968 Comments


goddamn you fishowitz

lets mate

Crysis
Emeritus
November 13th 2008


17429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree Chan, the cover is pretty awesome. I remember you reviewed The Streams Of The End but I think it was deleted in the server crash.



Thanks Rasputin, you'll probably like this a lot.This Message Edited On 11.13.08

rasputin
November 13th 2008


14968 Comments


I'm downloading it now.

charlesfishowitz
November 13th 2008


1794 Comments


more like gayloading it

rasputin
November 13th 2008


14968 Comments


good one man

charlesfishowitz
November 13th 2008


1794 Comments


fuck you

SCREAM!
November 13th 2008


15756 Comments


Sounds interesting

gayloading ftw

fireaboveicebelow
November 14th 2008


6832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this really seemed like just another october falls record

Hawks
November 14th 2008


73729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I want this. This sounds fucking awesome.

BallsToTheWall
November 14th 2008


49867 Comments


Sometimes, it’s hard to approach your favourite albums with anything short of a complete fan boy attitude. It’s hard to describe them with anything but complete praise, and idolisation. It is also easy to get overly pretentious when you try to recommend, so when I say The Womb of Primordial Nature is the sound of Fall, the sound of raindrops cascading down a mountainside. It’s the sound of emotion, love, hate and betrayal all in one. It’s the sound of birth, death and life, crashing together and ending all too soon. The Womb of Primordial Nature is the sound of triumph and failure, the sound of gain and loss, the sound of poetry being muttered quietly in case the emotion flutters away. It’s the sound of everything you take for granted, the music that graces your ears without you even knowing, it’s an emotional masterpiece that will never be recreated ever again, The Womb of Primordial Nature is utter bliss, a masterpiece that doesn’t need to be loved by everyone, as those who do will find more than enough to last a lifetime, know that I say it as truthfully as anything I’ve ever said about an album before, and for me;The Womb of Primordial Nature is all of this and more.


I'm not fucking around either, this album is amazing, best black metal release in 2008 and in my top 10 of the year. And this destroys any Dimmu Borgir and Windir in comparison bleak. Madness? God damn right. Solid review Crysis. Chackalaka

Digging: Guild Of Lore - Autumn Macabre

rasputin
November 14th 2008


14968 Comments


Listening now, it's not too bad.

Hawks
November 14th 2008


73729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why is this under folk instead of under black metal or metal? I know there's folk influences, but isn't it more metal?

BallsToTheWall
November 14th 2008


49867 Comments


The previuous albums are neo- folk and it would be a hassel to shift back. Don't hassle the hoff.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy