|Review: October Falls - The Womb of Primordial Nature|
|The Womb of Primordial Nature|
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Year released: 2008
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: March 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Brett Buckle
for:The Womb of Primordial Nature
Rated 3/5 (60%) (3 Votes)
October Falls started out as a mainly neo-folk slash ambient project with that feeling of nature-inspired melancholy that finds its way into Black Metal on occasion. Their EP The Streams of the End introduced a nature-inspired Black Metal feel reminiscent of Drudkh, Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room, and with their 2008 album The Womb of Primordial Nature, they manage to incorporate the acoustic folk of their earlier work into a seamless atmospheric Black Metal experience that sounds strongly of grey skies and green landscapes and journeys started for the sake of being surrounded by nature.
A very pleasant medieval sounding acoustic guitar supplies the introductory section with some oddly musical wind in the background (sounds a little like it is done with vocals), and then, without much further ado, we are in metal country as some rolling triplets pummel out of the speakers providing the foundation for some highly melodic riffing. The mid-section of "I" contains some absolutely wonderful melodies that drift serenely over rolling drums and a huge keyboard and guitar foundation. Acoustic interludes are liberally spread throughout the track, and the whole feel of the song is one of rolling hills and forest streams, with more of a late autumn feel (which falls around May rather than October in my part of the world) than the more traditional wintery aesthetic of Black Metal. The brief acoustic intro into soaring metal theme continues into "II" with some urgent uplifting melodies giving way to a slower, dirge-like verse that is somber without being morose. The acoustic sections are all accompanied by some field recording such as rain, wind or fire, and this lends considerably to the atmosphere of a journey though nature. However, these sections, while being quite memorable and atmospheric do occasionally break the flow of the songs, with October Falls falling a bit into the Opeth "got a cool riff but can't think of a good transition" way of songwriting, but, unlike Opeth (with whom the acoustic interludes may be favourably compared), they return to these sections and after you get used to them they do feel a little more like a rest stop on a long journey. "III" manages to incorporate these acoustic sections better than the previous tracks, and also sees main man Mikko Lehto using a deep deathy growl which provides a nice dynamic against his more oft used blackened rasp. The vocals are always pushed back into the mix and saturated with reverb, a common effect that adds to the wide open spaces feel of the album by making the vocals sound distant and uncultivated.
The Womb of Primordial Nature is a bit of an odd beast. It contains plentiful memorable melodies but it is a little difficult to identify exactly which song each belongs to as each of the four roughly ten minute tracks kind of blend together in their similarities of progression and song writing. This isn't really a criticism as such, as the tracks merge organically into each other, and it is possible to listen to the album as though it was just a single song without any of the impact being lost. The Womb of Primordial Nature is a completely engrossing album and it is very easy to become lost within its multi-layered instrumentation and lofty, yet melancholy melodies. This is a work that will appeal to all lovers of nature-inspired metal, and unless you are vehemently opposed to screeching and growling vocals it is well worth looking into no matter what your metal drug of choice happens to be.
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|Review: The Streams of the End (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)|
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