Slow Fall – Beneath the Endless Rains Review

“You’re waiting for a train. A train that’ll take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you can’t know for sure.” Ring any bells? Listening to the first track of Slow Fall‘s Beneath the Endless Rains brought to mind this memorable and admittedly haunting quote from the mind-bending film, Inception.  “Resonance,” kicks off Slow Fall‘s debut full-length album with mellow and wistful acoustic guitar. Less than half a minute in, what sounds like rail squeals or train track friction emerges to join the doleful acoustic picking. A more attentive listen revealed that the sounds I was hearing were likely not the sound of a train coming to a screeching halt but instead beautiful, shimmering strings. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I recall myself ever waiting for a train, yet Slow Falls‘s first song darn near made me feel as if the experience was second nature. It’s like I could see the steam billowing in the distance, feel my scarf ruffling, and watch autumn leaves scattering every which way on the train station bricks as the train decelerated to a satisfying stop right in front of me. In other words, Slow Fall knows how to set the mood. All aboard the Slow Fall caboose!

Slow Fall are the newest kids on the Finnish melodeath playground. They’d been skirting the chain link fence, peering in since 2016. Now, finally satisfied with their chosen lineup, the band is coming out swinging, seemingly out of nowhere, with their very first full-length album. On their first try, Slow Fall nail an impressive formula for melodeath. Their commanding ability to pull listeners in makes for an invigorating listen. Right off the bat, the instrumental intro track is not unlike the epic, beginning tracks that the well-oiled machine of a band Insomnium produces for their albums. Second track “Across the Cold,” dynamic and mega-chunky riff-laden, could easily be mistaken for an Omnium Gatherum ripper.

I should clarify that Slow Fall is not merely an Insomnium Gatherum clone, however much I might enjoy a band with that specific charter. Throughout the album’s forty minute runtime, Slow Fall continually pull new sounds out of their bag of tricks, roaming from the slow and hushed ballad “Exile the Day” to ridiculous guitar soloing in “Witness to the Fall of Night.” The five-piece does seem to follow in the wake of the success of yet another big-name Finnish band with Amorphis-inspired “Under the Corroded Sky,” though. The album culminates with Slow Fall‘s longest track, “Everything Left with Nothing.” This song starts off unassuming with relaxed clean guitar but grows to feature a female guest singer whose charming, wavery vocals provide a completely new texture to the band’s sonic palette. Her voice reminds me of the whimsical, wispy, and sweet vocals of Olivia Merilahti of Finnish-French indie rock band The Dø. Her vocals, when paired with Slow Fall‘s deep growling, give off real Amorphis “Amongst Stars” vibes, completely irrespective of the fact that the lyrics of “Everything Left with Nothing” also concern stars.

Nearly every aspect of Beneath the Endless Rains sounds meticulously crafted to bury itself underneath your skin. The riffing is equally melodic and heavy, the growls and snarling vocals are shiver-inducing, and the melodies sound fresh and natural. If I’m being picky, (like it or not, the folks at Angry Metal Guy historically are) one qualm I had with the album is that the first half felt easier to digest than the latter half. The train lost a little steam around track six of nine when Slow Fall‘s ferociousness briefly fell by the wayside and didn’t show up as strongly as heard in the first tracks.

The release of Beneath the Endless Rains on my birthday turned out to be quite a treat.1 I can hear the passion bleeding through in Slow Fall‘s music, and the bottom line is that Slow Fall can write some banger tracks. You can count on me giving Slow Falls‘s debut a few more listens this week, preferably while chowing down a slice of the delectable, gooey, chocolate cake my fiancé baked for me for my birthday. I consider myself a lucky gal.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Inverse Records
Websites: slowfallband.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/slowfallofficial
Releases Worldwide: October 23rd, 2020

Show 1 footnote

  1. Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoy your one day respite from the Skull Pit. I always do! – Holdeneye
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