Review Summary: A passionate post rock record with ambient leanings...
I had the pleasure to see this Scottish duo live last fall and I was blown away by the beauty of their music. There's an uneasy feeling haunting their work, yet the serene voice of Elisabeth Heaton offers a contrasting soothing tone. Midas Fall play a cinematic mix of electronica-infused post-rock with alternative/indie rock, trip hop and classical touches. The band's latest LP, Evaporate
makes for an eerie journey, most suitable for late nights listens. There are powerful tunes that emphasize on loud beats, topped by piano leads as well as effects-soaked guitar layering. The latter often becomes a focal aspect, as it frequently shape shifts or adds considerably to the desired moods. For example, 'Bruise Pusher' & the title tack follow this formula, however, they jump from grandiose structures to wonderful, sparse motifs during which the vocals are crushingly touching. Meanwhile, 'Soveraine' builds from tensed guitar lines (enhanced by E-Bow and fade-ins), until melancholic keyboards plus tom-heavy percussion take over. The front woman's delivery is one of her finest so far, creating an amazing atmosphere. It's admirable how much can she add with her voice alone.
Halfway through Evaporate
, the songs tend to get slightly toned down, all boasting the same tender approach. 'Sword to Shield' uses a synthesized bass alongside piano chords as the foundation. About two minutes in, the tune benefits from airy, pounding drums, plus some sweet guitar leads. 'Dust and Bone' amplifies the uncanny feeling the record bears, still the duo can't help but throw in some melodic moments too. The hazy delivery focuses on low end sounds and tribal-like percussion. Towards the end, a set of strings make their way through the harsher sound scapes, creating a great coda altogether. As the glacial, acoustic ditty, 'Awake' calms things down, we're transported into the LP's final stretch, where the dreamy 'In Sunny Landscapes' gradually unfolds its reverbed layers. There's also more room left here for the instruments to shine, which is nice actually. Even though there's no sonic overcrowding, Midas Fall tend to slip into this exhausting trap by not knowing when to ease things a little. It's like the clouds above your head never really clear. The lounge leanings of 'Lapsing' turn into a brooding soundtrack for what could've been a thriller movie. The wandering piano does its magic, still the bass tone would've benefited from less synthetic settings. Moreover, the Depeche Mode-esque closer, 'Howling at the Clouds' brings everything to the same chilly vibe we experienced at the start. Again, you get that feeling as if there's still something wrong, yet you can't pinpoint it.
Nevertheless, Midas Fall crafted a strong album that keeps you intrigued all the way, although it tends to get a bit lost in the hazy atmosphere it evokes. The two members do their jobs really well on guitar and vocals, each sharing memorable performances with constant highlights. Have some patience and listen to Evaporate
a few times from start to finish in a right setting. It's beautiful.