Review Summary: Trve enough.
False’s sophomore full-length, Portent
has been a bit of a wait. Fairly, since the band’s debut EP, the gaps between new music has been consistent if nothing else. Now I’m not talking about an excessive amount of time between releases (not unlike that Los Angeles based prog-rock act everyone’s been waiting for) but rather a conventional, measured and entitled hype building gap between EP’s and full records. Minnesota’s False has earned their reputation, and while it’s label (Gilead Media) is quickly becoming known for working with some solid acts (see this year’s Falls Of Rauros, Yellow Eyes, Mizmor…) their newest offering (aside from their Hunger
EP) almost five years after Untitled
lives up to the band’s expectations of riff maddened black metal that both hearkens to the furor of early days Emperor and brings modern cold black metal without losing any of the primality known in the group’s earlier efforts. If anything’s sure, it’s that Portent
is a potent mix of frenetic musicianship that leans heavily on melodic dynamics that leaves listeners with an impactful, ambitious if not somewhat jarring expression of excellent black metal.
The album’s ten minute opener, propels the listener into a tumult of melody and double bass, marking some comparatively improved production values in regards to the band’s debut. It’s an artistic mayhem of sounds. “A Victual to Our Dead Selves” is a furious launch into False’s newest forty-plus minute affair, but it’s the focus on melody that lifts initial standards. The music itself is cold, determined and furious but doesn’t dip into that of a melodramatic, over-reached attempt at transforming a genre. False are thankfully sticking to what they know; great styles, melody and perfectly mixed in black metal vocals - all elements ripped from the throat of the underground and launched onto an international stage.
The typical black metal venom isn’t forgotten from the album’s sixteen minute piece. Despite a somewhat restrained and melancholic introduction, “The Serpent Sting, The Smell Of Goat” offers mid-paced placation that feels more like a journey and crescendo to define its own point within Portent
itself with subtle nuances that hide under the icy tremolo riffing and blast beat, snare and bass patterns. False maintain their newest album that gears towards the fans of music that hold onto the In The Nightside Eclipse
’s and Under A Funeral Moon
purists of this world but it doesn’t conform to all the stereotypes that defined the greatness in the albums just mentioned. And largely, it shouldn’t. These after all are different times, and distinctly different bands. What is similar is the quality at which these group’s hold their music to.
What’s clear about False’s Portent
is it’s level of cohesion and melodious balance. By definition, it’s black metal. It’s not transcendental or over-reaching on a genre to which False know their bounds, but instead focuses on crafting intelligent compositions that centralize around their particular brand of music. There’s lift, lull and crescendo as well as icy atmosphere and selective notions of uplifting yet barbed atmosphere.