Fuath
II


3.4
great

Review

by Robert Garland STAFF
March 24th, 2021 | 31 replies


Release Date: 03/19/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Two become one.

While better known for his exploits in Saor, Scottish-born Andy Marshall has teetered on the edge of something else for a while now. While Fuath’s I saw a dynamic shift in Marshall’s folk aesthetic (especially in contrast to the sweeping grandeur and lofted styles found in titles such as Aura and Guardians), the difference is made more poignant by the fact that both I and Guardians were released in the same year and could easily represent both egos of the Saor mastermind. Fuath itself was a clear separation from the Saor soundscape, leaning more heavily into the world of '90s black metal, specifically more in tune with the likes of Burzum, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Paysage d’Hiver (and the like) while carving out his own individual genome within those influences. In this fashion, the fans that would expect soaring (or is it Saoring?) Celtic melodies and lush Scottish folk passages interwoven with transcendental black metal would be put off by the more traditionalist black metal portrait shown here. Andy Marshall’s II is an entity of its own and should largely be treated as an individual act. A hard task considering the other act’s level of prolificacy.

Where I brought conventional tones and bleaker atmospherics, II uses its counterpart as a stepping stone. Released half a decade apart from each other, the two albums themselves still sound cohesive, progressing naturally from cold tremolo riffs and snarled vocals into subtle recurring phrasing and light hypnotic melodies. It’s a centre-point of Fuath’s larger style—combining both the influences born thirty-plus years ago and the “can’t be helped” flourishes that naturally bleed into Marshall’s songwriting. It’s clear that no matter the fresh perspective, this is undoubtedly an Andy Marshall experience.

“Prophecies'' in itself is unobtrusive, yet filled to the brim with Wintery, discordant black metal bleakness. It’s neither the formidable wall of sound found a la Paysage d’Hiver (like the example at the top of this review would suggest), nor does the track suggest the simplicity of an entry level band hitting autopilot on black metal vocals and blast beats. It’s the melodicism that defines Fuath’s sophomore piece, transcending the norms of what most newer Bandcamp entries have to offer in this modern era. Quite possibly, it’s a sign of the times. In taking the formula set down by some of the genre’s pioneers and reshaping them to suit Marshall’s natural tendencies for bombast songwriting and gravitas, Fuath can sit behind a shield of recurring phrasing, melodic twists, hypnotism and in places, brain-worms. At almost ten minutes, “Prophecies'' is a meaty tale introducing the rest of the record. “The Pyre'' however stomps through its pacing and is close to a “church-burning” track as Fuath is likely to get. Marshall’s snarls soar over mid-paced riffery, trading moments of melody with classic black metal furor. A combination fit to pull on the heartstrings of many black metal fans.

As the record moves into its second half, it’s clear that Fuath has a certain prosperity for recurring phrasing, often bordering on hypnotism and mondial repetition while flourishing on minor notes and tremolo just enough to keep a listener hooked. ”Essence” is particularly guilty of taking the album’s recurring ideas of repetition and taking it to the nth degree—but Marshall doesn’t stumble or falter as his themes run a circuit of polished mixing and clear cut atmospherics. For II is as organic as it is clean, steering away from the caustic “air conditioning” noises found in certain acts mentioned above. Rather (in typical Saor/Marshall fashion), II is filled with tight instrumental passages that utilize the album’s vocals as another instrument, not a centrepoint. Ultimately, it’s Marshall’s overall song-writing that allows the music to charge through some deliberate use of repetition, nuance and deliberation.

Conservatively, I’d put Fuath’s II amongst the mandatory listening for metal enthusiasts in the year 2021, but in light of the sheer quality this year has given music fans across the interweb I’d be hesitant to place any more hyperbole on what is an already solid record. Sure, II is unlikely to see the same lofty heights as Marshall's other albums under different monikers, but that doesn’t misplace the project's sheer will and forward thinking that deliberately looks back at a sound’s beginnings and wraps it within clear modernism. At times, it does become hard to forget that this is the same artist who meticulously crafted Guardians or Roots -- especially as some of that unmistakable nuance seeps into II’s larger atmospheric foundation -- and yet I have no trouble with identifying with this as it is: a long awaited continuation of black metal without cliché or gimmick. II ticks all the right boxes and simply does what it needs to.



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user ratings (26)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


13981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

3.4 in the old scale seems appropriate here.



Listen to the goodies here: https://fuath.bandcamp.com/album/ii-2

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ian b
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2021


1945 Comments


hmm im intrigued, great write-up nocte :' )

Digging: Meat Computer and KirbLaGoop - Goop Computer

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2021


7579 Comments


Damn the Scots are fire these days

"the fans that would expect soaring (or is it Saoring?)"
lol nice

Digging: Monobody - Comma

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2021


2202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review Nocte!



One of the best album artworks of the year for me, but the music is just solid and nothing more in my view

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


13981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Thanks guys, you’re all gems.

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 24th 2021


37164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice write up. I found this a tad samey on first pass but I'd be willing to give it another shot because the atmosphere and musicianship was great.

Digging: Greta Van Fleet - The Battle at Garden's Gate

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2021


2202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very m/ week for Sowing, I see!

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


13981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Yeah was about to chime in with a similar thought Sunny. Sowing is having a nice run on the methuls.



So who are you and what have you done with the ‘real’ Sowing?



Jokes aside thanks Sowing. That’s about the simplest summary of this album and one I can definitely get behind.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


24228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lol Sowing full on Dvne mood atm m/ m/



Great write up Rob, I agree with what you say in the last paragraph, in s different context I would have rated this higher but the year is been so impressive so far that is hard to justify a higher praise.



Still, really great bm, as it's expected from Saorman.

Digging: Spectral Wound - A Diabolic Thirst

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


13981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Mostly Dvne’s fault right about now.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


15919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I'm glad you reviewed the album, I love its unpretentious approach.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


24228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Mostly Dvne’s fault right about now. "



I had actually a Lunar Shadows review dibbed, and now I don't even wanna hear it anymore.

osmark86
March 24th 2021


10581 Comments


oh I thought Fauth became Soar and that this project was just dead. will have to check this out for sure.

lot's of good metal to dive into atm, blessed 2021

WatchItExplode
March 24th 2021


8652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

If this is good but nothing special, the Lunar Shadow is exponentially more of that. Some nice riffage and leads though.



This one gets my head and kick foot bouncing around. Nice frosty, hypnotic grooves.

Digging: The Best of the Worst - Better Medicine

Surtur
March 24th 2021


603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Easily better than the last Saor album imo

Rastapunk
March 24th 2021


1378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I like that I and II are different but yet similar. Good rev!

Pho3nix
March 24th 2021


1069 Comments


Cool! great rev.

I recently randomly re-discovered 'Fuath I' on my HDD, need to give both a listen

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


13981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

--I had actually a Lunar Shadows review dibbed, and now I don't even wanna hear it anymore.--



It's certainly taken the shine off some records this year.

combustion07
March 25th 2021


8191 Comments


Gonna jam this real good. Good review

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2021


13981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

real good or real soon?



Why not both?



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