Falls of Rauros - "The Light That Dwells In Rotten Wood" (2011) [Bindrune Recordings]
Falls of Rauros; a band I have been almost obsessive over since I first heard them back in 2007. One of the most ambitious and brilliant bands to ever emerge from the US black metal scene. When I caught wind that Bindrune was to release this new outing, I almost lost my mind. I had to have it. I remember A. Lunn (from Panopticon/Seidr) telling what an amazing album this was, he was beyond right on this. I admit I am going to be all drool-y and frothing in this review, but I cannot help it, this album is truly THAT GOOD. Super melodic, folky, woodland black metal of the absolute highest order. Beautiful acoustic passages and insanely emotive black metal make up the bulk of this disc and while the style has been done to death, no one is doing it the way that FoR is. This is some of the most genuine and passionate music I have personally ever heard and it actually kind of scares me. After the first spin of this album, I actually had to step away and take a moment to put my thought process back into normal order. It is so involved and enveloping, that it almost seems like an out of body experience. The only thing I can compare this to is either Ulver's Bergtatt or Agalloch's The Mantle - in the respect that everything fits into place and is so cohesive that it is almost like one long conceptual track. Everything has a place and fits together to make a grandiose and truly epic piece of musical art. In total, this is probably one of the shortest reviews I have ever written, but to be honest, the emotional impact this album had on me, I cannot describe in words. The only advice I can give is to buy this (buy 4 copies and give them to friends or just keep them on hold when you wear your copy out) and experience it for yourself. This album is so immense and perfect (I barely use that word for anything and am not joking whatsoever) that it literally had me reconsidering my involvement in music altogether. That almost never happens and when it does, I know that whatever I had just experienced is so profound that it almost becomes a life changing moment. Dear readers, this may be the best black metal album to come out in many years and is possibly my pick for album of the year. Absolutely outstanding, perfect and emotionally jarring. My mind is officially blown.