This Island, Our Funeral
Review by Brian on January 10, 2015.
Folk metal is one of those genres that either you succeed at or fail miserably. I hate to make it so black and white, but to these ears that's how it is. Hailing from Scotland, Falloch definitely find themselves in the prior category. With the release of their second LP This Island, Your Funeral, Falloch have created a beautiful album of folk metal/ post rock that stacks up against the best the genre has to offer. With it's hints of black metal and doom metal, it also manages to help the band transcend being so easily labeled.
After the first album Where Distant Spirits Remain, Andy Marshall left to start his wonderful folk/black metal project Saor. This left me wondering if Falloch would become just another one and done band, seeing as how Marshall was the main song writer of the 2 man band. Remaining member Scott McLain didn't let that happen and filled out the line up making it a 4 piece for This Island, Our Funeral. This also lead to the band taking a new direction, without losing the formula that made them successful on their debut. The most notable and biggest part of this new direction are the vocals. Tony Dunn's vocals are majestic, they soar off the mountain tops into the valley bellow making songs like "For Life" and "Brahan" that much more powerful. They also are whispers on the wind from the ocean to the shore, bringing comfort at softer moments, "For Uir" is a perfect example of this. The music that accompanies these vocals is just as mesmerizing. It flows between mid paced riffing and slower melodies. It also adds some chugging chords and the occasional tremolo guitar parts. This keeps the album interesting and the listener off balance just enough to keep their attention. It has an epic feel without over doing it and creating atmosphere without the use of lots of effects.
The problem with a lot of music that falls under the folk metal banner is it doesn't feel or sound genuine. Falloch does not have that problem, this is heartfelt and real. Their music is natural and organic, giving breathing room in the songs and keeping them from becoming cluttered. This Islands, Our Funeral comes from the soul, which makes it such an enjoyable listen. Free your mind and let Falloch take you through the heavens on this spiritual journey.
Rating: 9 out of 10