Falls of Rauros
Key to a Vanishing Future


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Garland STAFF
March 27th, 2022 | 143 replies


Release Date: 03/25/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unlocking the future.

I remember Patterns In Mythology like it was yesterday. Magnificent, sprawling landscapes made lush with crescendo and brilliant atmospherics. Black metal is rarely made to achieve the lofty standards of fans and critics alike and yet, Falls Of Rauros smashed through this jaded glass ceiling with their 2019 effort, transcending the realm of atmospheric black metal and fully endorsing the glacial artwork that adorned its cover. Fast forward a couple years and you could almost feel the hype when Keys To A Vanishing Future and a subsequent single was announced. It was tempting, but I made it to a full album listen without hearing a single note from the new record before it. This made things interesting. It’s rare that I can put off something so hyped, so massive, knowing full-well I’m likely to enjoy the product—a prediction made true in unexpected ways. Let’s talk about that for a second. My expectations (like a lot of the guys reading this review…probably) predicted that Falls Of Rauros would simply carry on where they left off. Majestic compositions in the style of Patterns In Mythology 2.0, lush climes dancing across sheets of compositional ice while black metal fans “ooh and ahh” in equal measure. Not to mention the continuation of quality, a level-headed measure of the transcending (now the band standard) musicianship of these Maine natives.

Of such lofty heights, Keys To A Vanishing Future falls just short of the famed Patterns In Mythology—but not for doing the same thing to the nth degree. Let me explain. It would be all too easy for these veterans to simply flick on the autopilot switch, churn out massive atmospheric black metal renditions, lap up the praise and call it a day. I can’t help but feel that should this band have done so, criticisms of idea recycling and “resting on one’s laurels” would have been far and few between. As such it’s commendable, applaudable even, that Falls Of Rauros have taken a new path, shaped new ideas and taken risks. Because that’s what Keys To A Vanishing Future is—bold, forward thinking and on the edge of something uncharted for these Maine visionaries.

What’s clear is the shift in the band’s sound. The subtlety of “Clarity’s” introduction, the building, burly riff dominance and the tension loading of that dissonant melody. “Clarity” breathes familiarity within the Falls Of Rauros brand and yet there's an unmistakable angular shape to the track’s composition separate to anything that could be found on Patterns In Mythology or even Vigilance Perennial before it. That’s not to say that Keys To A Vanishing Future has forgone on the world of lush crescendos, rather the group’s new direction streamlines their folk sensibilities into soundscapes more reminiscent of Darkthrone’s black metal aesthetic, instead of the billowing winds of Agalloch, Alcest and the like, simply shading their music so lightly towards the older school of sentimentality. “Desert of Heart” continues the band’s trajectory towards a different school of thought. Gentle guitar melody dances throughout the song’s run-time, while the distinct rumble of the bass worms through the foundation of sound and pinches a few moments, un-aided, in the limelight. The track itself is a ride of emotional; hopeful melodies push back against the tumult and rage of percussion, while the swirl of synth keeps the listener grounded to what is, and now. “Desert of Heart” also features one of the group’s greatest guitar solos to date. At every turn Falls Of Rauros continues to breathe in musical ideas and breathe out excellence.

“Survival Poem” (one of the album’s pre-release singles) is a show-stopper. Folk themes run rampant throughout the song’s length and yet, the music itself teeters on the doomier end of the musical spectrum, before returning to the bite and furor, a return to the Wintry blast of Vigilance Perennial’s (specifically, “Impermanence Streakt Through Marble”) snow-covered forest. Multiple harmonies run parallel, a marriage of guitar and atmosphere, punctuated by progressive black metal flourishes.

Even as the album finds its way towards its closing moments, the one-two punch of “Daggers In Floodlight” and “Poverty Hymn” shouldn’t be understated. The former is a showcase in contrast, eventually resulting in the album’s heaviest track. Shrieks and barks punch through the track’s more linear, straight-forwards style—flourishes of death metal mixing into the icier black metal riffs. While the album’s final track offers a musical new dawn after the stormiest of Winter nights. “Poverty Hymn” is starkly reminiscent of Patterns In Mythology’s braver, uplifting moments. The closer provides a familiarity, without falling into the issues mentioned above. A nod to fans who wore the band’s last effort on their sleeves and a little “thank you” to those who journey alongside this Maine four-piece.

Where Patterns In Mythology was instantly (and recognisably) a gorgeous release filled to the brim with sensual synth, crescendo and articulate refrain, Keys To A Vanishing Future takes a little longer to explore, digest and sink in. This is mostly due to the group charting a new course through their atmospheric climes, their bold takes on simplicity and the reach it’s likely to have in the coming months. While Keys To A Vanishing Future might not measure to the lofty heights of Patterns In Mythology, it’s an introspective journey, a bold momentum builder that shows Falls Of Rauros haven’t ever considered just hitting the autopilot switch. Maybe Patterns In Mythology simply set the bar too high? It doesn’t matter. It’s nonsense to write the group’s next explorative chapter off as directionless, paling or not ‘big’ enough. There’s boldness and strength to be found in reshaping what you know. There’s grace in giving up aesthetic for functionality. Keys To A Vanishing Future is forward thinking, fearless and a sure highlight metal album in this [still] new decade.




Recent reviews by this author
Conjurer (UK) PathosEsoctrilihum Consecration of the Spiritüs Flesh
White Ward False LightDeathfuckingcunt Decadent Perversity
Septicflesh Modern PrimitiveMalevolence Malicious Intent
user ratings (120)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


17245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It has arrived.



https://fallsofrauros.bandcamp.com/

twlight
March 27th 2022


6400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Tl Dr

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


17245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is the tl;dr version.

twlight
March 27th 2022


6400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Jk dude I'll check the review and album tomorrow. Stoked to listen

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


17245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool Cool. Will see your thoughts.

CottonSalad
March 27th 2022


2467 Comments


lovely review! I'm not as hyped on this group as you seem to be - but maybe one day ;)

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


17245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

We should all be this hyped on Falls Of Rauros

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


7484 Comments


Good lord my man has reviewed all of the albums in the world

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


17245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I’m still so far behind.

Sowing
Moderator
March 27th 2022


41289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is excellent and so is the review.

Digging: Shinedown - Planet Zero

mechamagica
March 27th 2022


436 Comments


givin this thing a whirl

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


3910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Excellent review, chef! I was curious what you'd think of this one, turns out your thoughts on it are fairly similar to mine so far. Really liking this, it's a different direction but seems to work very well. Still digesting the album though.

mechamagica
March 27th 2022


436 Comments


great record. they've got two i'm into now courtesy of marston

Veks
March 27th 2022


1822 Comments


Freaking hype!

Egarran
March 27th 2022


28341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review! So many nice moments on this. That lead guitar esp.

I did get a little weary of the many comparisons to Patterns though.





Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium - Undreamable Abysses

teamster
March 27th 2022


5941 Comments


Wouldn’t have expected anyone else to review this. I could never grasp hold of this band. Maybe this one. Excellent review and thanks.

Chippe
March 27th 2022


152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never got into FoR fully. This sounds promising though. Probably the Enslaved vibes sprinkled through the album.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


17245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

-Wouldn’t have expected anyone else to review this.-



I'm always afraid Crysis or Atari might shake off their emeritus induced sand coverings and show me how it's done. Not at all a bad thing. Going to peer pressure Sowing into the next Esoctrihilium album though.

Pikazilla
March 27th 2022


23161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

nice

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2022


28254 Comments


"Wouldn’t have expected anyone else to review this.-"

The Gnoch had it dibbed before they even wrote the album.

Gonna jam it this week while I read your thoughts my dear, it looks like it's an album that calls for time and focus.


Digging: Autumn's Grey Solace - Within the Depths of a Darkened Forest



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