Falls of Rauros
Vigilance Perennial


4.3
superb

Review

by Atari STAFF
April 4th, 2017 | 281 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beauty through restraint

It’s not the moments of raw intensity that make Falls of Rauros so special, but their use of restraint. Not to downplay the band’s ability to craft a monolithic, intimidating wall of sound, but it’s during those quieter moments – when every note seems to weep and resonate – that the band goes in for the kill. We’ve all heard breakneck-speed blast beats and tremolo riffs from countless black metal acts, but few are able to match Falls of Rauros’ precise attention to detail. Their music has always carried a sense of both elegance and depth; a sound that has finally come to full fruition on the epic Vigilance Perennial.

For a band that pulls their name from the ruins of Tolkien mythology, Falls of Rauros wear their epic influence on their sleeve, but also aren’t afraid of expanding their sound into new horizons. With each album, the American black metal act direct the flow of their force further in the direction of experimentation and blissful post-rock territory. The first few breaths of “Labyrinth Unfolding Echoes” sound unlike anything from the band’s past efforts; with a warm, growing echo of delicate guitars, the song’s intro is a thing of indescribable beauty. Never before have Falls of Rauros crafted a song with such strong ambience, and it’s a shame they didn’t carry this more ethereal mood further into the track. It’s a minor nitpick, but their potential to make one hell of a strictly ambient-based track (or album) is certainly evident here.

Aside from new layers of experimentation, all of Falls of Rauros’ signature trademarks are still here: the swelling build-ups, the cavernous vocals, and the moments of contrasting beauty and despair. Yet, their sound has never carried the level of optimism it does on Vigilance Perennial. Much like Panopticon’s Autumn Eternal, it’s an album packed with simply victorious guitar leads, and -- much like that album -- it meshes its brighter tones into the heavier sections with a sense of ease. “Arrow & Kiln" doesn’t waste a fraction of a second before pummeling you with its velocity of mountainous riffs and beastly drumming. Though it starts out like a fairly typical black metal track, it ends up shifting gears into a boundless intertwining of genres and styles. There are some thick, ominous bass guitars sections and shimmering guitars that lead into a glorious solo towards the song’s tail end. Simply put, “Arrow & Kiln” has it all.

Falls of Rauros have come a long way from their humble beginnings of Hail Wind and Hewn Oak nearly a decade ago, but one thing has remained completely unshaken: the band’s love for nature. Across their body of work, an appreciation for the great outdoors has always been an influence in their music, and it feels that influence has come full circle on the band’s fourth LP. Whether it’s the poignant acoustic guitars that mirror a wet autumn day in “Warm Quiet Centuries of Rain”, or the imitation of nature’s powerful wrath on “Impermanence Streakt Through Marble”, there’s no escaping the sense you’re in the confines of a mountainous and vast forest. When the band is feeling overwhelmed by the natural beauty surrounding them, you can bet your ass you’re gonna feel it too.

Amongst countless bands that play a similar style of music, Falls of Rauros manage to remain sounding fresh with their potent mixture of black metal, post-rock, and nature-inspired folk. For fans of the genre, it’s hard to find anything inherently wrong with Vigilance Perennial. The album does exactly what it sets out to do, and it doesn’t waste any of our valuable time in the process. Every song ends not a second too early or late, and every note is filled with deep meaning and resonance. From the moment “White Granite” opens with the band’s tasteful and unique guitar-work, it often feels like they’re playing in slow motion, allowing the listener to appreciate every solitary moment as the album unfolds. Few bands could dream of crafting an album as stunning and richly textured as Falls of Rauros have here. There are moments of ruthless heaviness, but none of them feel like they’re there just for the sake of being loud or making an impression – but rather carefully placed amidst the calmer peaks and valleys of the band’s masterful creation. A decade in, Falls of Rauros have finally unleashed all the promise they’ve harbored into the towering high point of their career– and man, what a beautiful thing it is to witness.




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user ratings (104)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
kingdedethefifth (5)
The fire has awakened the flood....

Chamberbelain (3.5)
The crescendos are never late. Nor are they early. They arrive precisely when they mean to....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2017


22699 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

just realized this is my first metal review since last August. feedback appreciated, you know the drill. now streaming on bandcamp. this band has been one of my favorite black-metal/post rock/folk hybrids that isn't Agalloch for some time now



https://fallsofrauros.bandcamp.com/

Digging: Langhorne Slim - Lost At Last, Vol 1

ComeToDaddy
April 4th 2017


1611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good to see some staff getting in on the hype, killer album and a great review to match. Reads a bit higher than a 4.3 though

Evreaia
April 4th 2017


4894 Comments


Hopefully this is better than their last album. Believe in No Coming Shore was so boring compared to The Light That Dwells In Rotten Wood.

kingdedethefifth
April 4th 2017


4250 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Awesome review and I agree with about 90 percent of it. The only thing that I found a bit odd is considering any part of the record "brutal". I mean cathartic yeah but like when I think brutal I think of a death/grind record or something lol.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2017


10877 Comments


I've been slacking on this album hard, need to jam it asap. Great review too, really building my expectations for this.

Digging: Russkaja - Energia!

Evokaphile
April 4th 2017


5874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awww yeah so good

Digging: Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest

burningbeard
April 4th 2017


139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A review fully befitting this awesome album.

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 4th 2017


25036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

How does this compare stylistically to Agalloch's The Mantle? That's my only real experience with black metal I actually enjoyed and the samples from this seem promising enough.



Great review btw.

Digging: Brand New - Science Fiction

Evokaphile
April 4th 2017


5874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not as folky the mantle by any means, but the compositions are immaculate to say the least. Highly rec'd

kingdedethefifth
April 4th 2017


4250 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I'd say it's more so an amalgamation of post rock and black metal with a folk tone to it. It's relatively similar to The Mantle but it's a bit lighter on the folk as evok said

Hopelust
April 4th 2017


2747 Comments


The intro reminds me ever so slightly of as cities burn and pelican.

DungeonBoy
April 4th 2017


3228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review Atari. Really digging this album, and agree with all of the positive ratings and comments. Arrow and Kiln is my favorite track at the moment, but I really enjoy the closer too however there is just one part that irks me. During the intro trem riff (0:45-1:15) the arpeggiated melody on the right has some out of key notes that just don't fit no matter how many times I listen to it. Doesn't ruin it for me, just a weird decision in my opinion.

Digging: Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

Evokaphile
April 4th 2017


5874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sometimes things like that add character. I mean.. The Mantle is a mess and we all still jizz all over that album like its a nude rendition of the mona lisa so..

Essence
April 4th 2017


5844 Comments


oh nice, these guys are dope live, will check

AsleepInTheBack
April 4th 2017


5117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Superb review and I couldn't agree more, the restraint and elegance of this are what make it so enjoyable

Essence
April 4th 2017


5844 Comments


something about the production job on all of their releases just rubs me the wrong way

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2017


22699 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

cheers all, thanks for the kind words



@Sowing, there are definitely moments similar to The Mantle, but also some that are much different. Can definitely see people digging that album finding stuff to enjoy here, though. Curious to see what you think if you get around to hearing the whole thing! Still love your mantle review btw



@cometodaddy, yeah I can see how it prolly reads higher than a 4.3 haha. I'll potentially be raising my score even higher. nothing to complain about really, this is 100 % my kind of bm/folk though



@kingdede, I agree that brutality line could be a bit much, changed it with something I think works better within the context of my opening paragraph. cheers

L4titudes
April 4th 2017


3447 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I shall return to this but I didn't really understand the appeal. To me this band doesn't stand out of the hundreds of other bands doing the same.

Evokaphile
April 4th 2017


5874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh but they do. They really, really do

Ignimbrite
April 4th 2017


6224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok this is fucking fantastic

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us



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