Falls of Rauros rumble toward prog journey, flex black metal muscle on ‘Vigilance Perennial’

Photo by Drew Buerhaus

People and things change over time. At least they should. How boring would it be to remain in the same spot doing the exact same thing over and over again until you die? Pushing beyond one’s personal boundaries can be a rewarding decision, and it can transform what you do into something altogether different.

I’m not sure that was the thinking going in when Falls of Rauros recorded their stunning fourth record “Vigilance Perennial,” but they certainly didn’t have an interest in running in place. Before you get worried, Falls of Rauros remain the same atmospheric, woodsy black metal band they’ve been all along. You haven’t been abandoned. But on this record, you get a deeper, richer band, one that digs into their wells of creativity and found some new elements to bring to the table. The band—Jordan, Eva, Ray, and Aaron—spreads further into progressive waters, and very excitingly so. This record is heavy and punishing, sure, but it’s also exhilarating. This music flows beyond black metal’s walls and rushes into plenty of other regions, expanding their reach and strengthening their base. This is the most surprising record of their run so far and one that proves Falls of Rauros won’t be held back.

The atmosphere of this record is apparent on opener “White Granite,” where the music begins flowing easily, hinting at serenity, before the track rips open, and feral howls punish. The prog-fueled energy pushes its way through, while guitars gush and glow, and vicious vocals add thorniness to the proceedings. The path goes cold, while guitars stretch their way across the void, and tremendous texture is added to the piece. This 10:11 cut wraps up with vocals wrenching and a burst of life shoving in before meandering out. “Labyrinth Unfolding Echoes” starts with gentle echoes and pianos dripping, as delicate waters trickle before the hammer drops. The growls wrench, while melodies add more light, and the cries and growls meet up with further forays into progressive paths. The soloing that creeps in is warm and gushing, though wild shrieks punch in, the drama rises, and everything ends in synth wash. “Warm Quiet Centuries of Rain” is a quick interlude piece with reflective guitars and wintry folk melodies that ice the blood.

“Arrow and Kiln” is the longest track at 12:03, and it has a spirited start flush with tremendous melodies that sweep up your heart. Abrasive vocals scrape, while the playing destroys with great purpose before the tempo cools off. A foggy synth bed settles on the ground, while acoustics slip in and flow toward a prog-bested section highlighted by some tremendous guitar work. The tempo glows and causes you to shield your eyes, as synth blankets once again, and the track fades out delicately. Closer “Impermanence Streakt Through Marble” has clean guitars leading into the scene, while the music swirls, and one of the record’s most memorable guitar runs takes place. Howls explode, the guitars bleed warmth, and violence and magic intertwine and crash land. The song then hits a stretch of wild storming, as all the sounds rush together, firing over and over until all elements crescendo and fade.

Over the past 12 years, Falls of Rauros have been one of the most exciting bands in the USBM scene, and that climbs onto an even higher level on “Vigilance Perennial.” They could have remained in their comfort zone and continued making the same brand of black metal they have all along, and no one would have batted an eye. But that’s not good enough for this band, as Falls of Rauros have continued to push borders and create whatever it is that’s in their rustic hearts.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/fallsofraurosOfficial/

To buy the album, go here: https://shop.bindrunerecordings.com/

Or here: https://www.nordvis.com/new_products

For more on the label, go here: http://bindrunerecordings.com/

And here: https://www.nordvis.com/

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