None of us chose this life. We were sucked into this planet for better or worse, and we have to make do with what we have and what we’ve learned and try to make the best of it for ourselves and hopefully other people. But there’s a lot that gets tied into that, and there are things that we had nothing to do with that we have to sort through and absorb, and it’s a lot to handle considering, again, we didn’t choose this.
That bleeds right into “Key to a Vanishing Future,” the new record from Falls of Rauros that is unlike anything you’ve heard from this band before. They took on that whole concept of having to deal with a life put on us and the history that colors what happens now and the means of accepting that and using it to make a better future for everyone. Yet there is religious and political bullshit that hold that back, a refusal to own up to why oppressed people feel the way they do, and only the ones who are willing to take on the burden and acknowledge where we’ve gone wrong are going to be true agents of change. Musically, this as diverse as Falls of Rauros ever have sounded. The band—vocalist/guitarist Aaron Charles, guitarist/vocalist/keyboard player Jordan Guerette, bassist Evan Lovely, drummer Ray Capizzo—expand far beyond black metal into deeper progressive waters and just straight-up heavy metal, and it’s a goddamn revelation. This is their best record in a collection of great ones.
“Clarity” gently opens the record, the guitars raining down like a warm spring shower, and then the scorching begins as the jaws unhinge and open. We surge into gazey flooding, punches windmill through an atmospheric gasp, and things crumble anew, the vocals stretching with the atmospheric pressure, ending abruptly. “Desert of Heart” is lush and spacey when it lands, then the bass trudges, and the vocals head into the stratosphere. Steamy and proggy, the melodic rush gets more oppressive, the synth moving with woodsy energy, and then the soloing erupts and heads for the stars, wrenching and washing before the track comes to a shimmering end. “Survival Poem” is moody and foggy, and then the power explodes, the verses raining punishment. The vocals shred as the guitars race and tangle, the pace rustles, and the leads catch fire, blazing a path into the cosmos.
“Known World Narrows” dawns with cloudy bass that spits deathrock vibes and guitars soaring, and the playing moves into more sinister waters. The shrieks mar as the pace floods, the speed becomes an even greater factor, and wild cries call off into the distance. Things get ugly as the vocals menace, keys wash onto the floor, and things come to a rushing end. “Daggers in Floodlight” melts in dark and stormy, mellotron giving off a proggy, vintage feeling that coats your cells. Things rumble as the leads glimmer, the playing goes off, and the keys return to the vibe that opened the song. Melodies rain down and flood the land, then sunburnt guitars deliver the warmth needed for total absorption. Closer “Poverty Hymn” crushes from the start, shrieks strike, and the tempo is active and surging, delivering punches. A gazey storm goes cold and sends shivers up your spine, chilling your flesh, and then the playing ignites all over, sending your brain into overdrive. Melodies flood your mind as the band gives one final chance to bask in solemn mist that leaves your face coated in a thick film of precipitation.
It’s really difficult to give a proper summary of “Key to a Vanishing Future,” one of the most inventive and exciting records in all of Fall of Rauros’ rich creations. Speaking as a non-musician, it’s exciting and heart pumping to hear this band work through progressions seamlessly and create an experience that takes you away from this earth, so I can only imagine how impressive this record actually is if I had any idea how they put it together. This is a new beast altogether, a creation from a band that already was operating on an insane level and somehow figured out how to make it more intense.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/fallsofraurosOfficial
To buy the album (vinyl due later this year), go here: https://gileadmedia.bandcamp.com/album/key-to-a-vanishing-future
For more on the label, go here: https://gileadmedia.net/
And here: https://www.eisenton.de/