The Fall of Every Season // Amends
Rating: 4.0/5.0 — Melancholy has never been so bright.
Label: Grau Records
Websites: thefallofeveryseason.com  |  myspace.com/thefallofeveryseason
Release Dates: Out now!

The Fall of Every SeasonIt’s probably best you let go of every possible expectation of this record that you may have had, because this album simply won’t meet them. Stylistically, anyway. The Fall of Every Season, the moniker of Marius Strand, has decided to change the idea behind the music so far beyond recognition of his dreary, depression-filled beginnings, that Amends sounds like a completely different band, thank goodness. Despite being a doom metal fanatic, I simply couldn’t understand the hype behind the 2006 album From Below. Being every possible bit as stereotypical as doom metal could possibly be, it was just too plodding and uninteresting to keep me interested despite the small moments of respite, that being primarily the clean vocals, which were melodic and engaging – shame about the rest of it.

Thankfully, Amends couldn’t be more of a fitting title for such an opus – it makes amends for every wrong-doing of the previous album and becomes an Album of the Year contender in a heartbeat. The total contrast in tone from the last album to this one is as stark as it is surprising, but it works so, so well. Calling it positivity might be a stretch as there’s an obvious shade of melancholy enshrouding the music, but the way it deals with such a far less linear mood in such a masterful way is a joy to behold. Not to mention the much more varied instrumentation, barely resembling doom any more despite retaining the bittersweet tones, resulting in a far more rewarding and engaging listen from start to finish. The difference stylistically is almost beyond recognition, and the difference in quality is just as far a leap.

So it makes sense not to backtrack and compare to the first album more than is absolutely necessary – Amends is as much its own entity, not only being a complete departure from previousthefallofeveryseason works, but a unique album in its own right. A record that consists of (but is not limited to) the uplifting tones of Explosions in the Sky, the varied progressive death metal and vocal work of Opeth, the subtle acoustic flair of Agalloch and much more. It’s not just limited to arbitrary comparisons, though. The atmosphere, the instrument variation, and what’s more, the sheer beauty that this album serves in absolute torrents feels so rewarding and unique.

The actual music itself is very, very melodic, but thanks to the melodies being aided with some quite frankly massive death metal growls, it retains a necessary heaviness. The clean vocals sound so much more confident here, as atmospheric as  they are striking, often layered beautifully with complimentary melodies which make it all the more captivating. The dynamic between these two vocals styles is done very well. Opeth comes to mind, but it sounds several calibres above due to how well it intertwines with the atmosphere and highly uplifting melodies the album is packed with. The drum patterns do get rather repetitive at times, but this is only a minor niggle. I will however say that I’m really tired of hearing really great albums hindered by “loudness war” mastering. I’m hoping this silly trend ends one day, but the album is still obviously listenable.

FallIt also helps that each track is distinctly different, as if the stylistic departure wasn’t enough of a variant – “Sole Passenger” being perhaps the most engaging of the tracks, flowing beautifully through quiet acoustic and bass-driven sections with varying and diverse vocal styles, each weaving through each other satisfyingly. The next track, “The Mammoth” being the heaviest and fast-moving of the bunch, leaving almost nothing to be desired as far as quality goes. Then comes a brief interlude before one of the most beautiful tracks in recent memory – “Aurelia” truly is the most evident display of a total u-turn in terms of theme, not to mention a massive maturity in Strand’s songwriting skills. The subtle use of piano (and “Sole Passenger”) shows a satisfying use of control and subtlety, coupled with the absolutely beautiful riffs and melodies that sound so bright and warm. The beautiful clean ‘e-bow’ lines, reminiscent of some of the most delicate post-rock are well utilised in almost every track and serve the atmosphere of the album wonderfully. The final track, “Come, Waves” is the perfect stylistic meld of the previous tracks, bringing the album to a satisfying conclusion.

There’s so much to divulge and digest in this album that the six years it took to finish could have been doubled and the wait would have been worth it. It’s such an effortless listen, and despite that, it’s such a rewarding one too. Great, controlled songwriting coupled with a wonderful, bright atmosphere will satisfy the post-rock fans who dabble in metal, and I doubt death metal fans will scoff at this either, particularly those of the Opeth school. The quality is beyond debate.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001040123996 Kyle McDonald

    I listened to about ten seconds of this before I figured out it it was amazing. Good review, good album. Golly, I love doom metal.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rob-Turnbull/286107949 Rob Turnbull

      Exactly the same hjere. Immediately added to my Amazon wishlist.

      Thanks again for great reviews AMG/Noctus

  • http://twitter.com/mbcain_ Mike

    I bought it from iTunes after reading AMG’s glowing review and I just finished my first listen. My first impressions are that it’s astoundingly good, even more so as a one project. In a sea of formulaic bands this is a really great find. If you enjoy this then I would also suggest giving a band named Amiensus a listen as well. m/
    Rock on and thanks again AMG!

  • Kalsten

    Why the girl on the cover has no nipples? That is disturbing me.

    I am listening to it in Spotify. I think I will end up loving it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/luis.coutinho69 Luís Pedro Coutinho

    Really good review…and I say I write well…lol i’ll give some listenings to this album this week…Congratulations you get better and better Angry Metal Guys…

  • http://twitter.com/Potato_jim James Gamble

    Thank you for making me aware of this. It’s brilliant.

  • nunka

    This is a damn solid album. But you may want to tread lightly when it comes to describing it as “several calibres above” Opeth. Some folks won’t take too kindly to that…

    • Noctus

      I’m not all too concerned about making other people happy.
      -Noctus

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Arjan-Zwamborn/100001214565789 Arjan Zwamborn

    I’ve been spinning this bad boy for a couple of weeks now, and I am glad to see AMG enjoys this one too. Maybe I would’ve given this even half a point more, but still an excellent review! Everyone who enjoys.. ehm.. music in a broad sense I’d say, should check this out.
    Haha and this is several calibres above Opeth indeed.

    • Noctus

      Honestly one of the only things holding me back from a 4.5 rating was the shitty mastering. It’s getting real tiring hearing great albums butchered by dumb mastering practices. Turning up the gain in a mastering suite doesn’t make it more ‘metal’. Or at least, it shouldn’t.
      -Noctus

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stefano-Kevin-Prince-Vitali/100001520051937 Stefano Kevin Prince Vitali

    Wow! Just… WOW! This record is fucking good! The acoustic interludes are crisp and beautiful, the growling rich, the guitar harmonies luscious, the riffing deep and ponderous. I enjoyed this one thoroughly, and I strongly recommend it to everyone!

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  • Raven

    i have this album but not still completly listened…