There is something about the doom metal genre that gives it a lasting energy. Maybe it’s the light and dark that often interplay, intertwining into something sinister, beautiful, tranquil, bringing together the chaotic, eerie and positive features into one package, it captivates the listeners’ sense of mood whether light or dark, perfectly. Alas, not all funeral doom metal bands can have this greater effect, but, when these gems surface; the result is utterly fantastic. Come the beginnings of 2013, and The Fall Of Every Season’s Amends, highlights just how this combination of aesthetics stays relevant for those with the patience to make it through the track’s almost lengthy run times. The Fall Of Every Season, is a one man project from Norway. Under this moniker, Marius Strand went from being an underground phenomenon in early 2004 and steadily gained the attention of a devoted group of faithful fans via Strand’s debut release,From Below in 2007. Noticeable from the debut, The Fall Of Every Season has always had a focusing contrast between the melancholic and brutal. Amends, is no different. Mixing the ambient with chaotic, prominent acoustic guitars, guttural growls, and not to mention the use of some highly exquisite clean vocals giving life to Strand’s music. Marius Strand has presented and album full of contrast, pulled off with an enormity to match the best of the genre. Amends, truly showcases how the extremes of a genre can be tipped on their heads, scaled down and transformed into something beautiful. Amends is not a trivial album, that’s easy to take in. There is a depth created between sections that twist and turn, enveloping the listener without becoming overbearing in nature.
The Fall Of Every Season are not doing anything out of the ordinary as far as the music goes. At times, the music is minimalistic; whilst on the other hand the music back-flips thickening the album’s texture and highlighting how the contrast in soundscapes can be used to have a greater affect. Keep in mind that where ‘minimalistic’ is mentioned we’re not talking forty minute epics filled with slight piano work and the occasional cymbal splash, that can be found under the guise of Until Death Overtakes Me, instead an accessible version with tracks barely over the fourteen minute mark (at most) takes precedence, engaging the listener throughout with the already mentioned use of light and dark without drawing the track out into a painful, dull listen. For some however, the thirteen/fourteen minute tracks may just be a little too much (especially if you aren’t used to the stereotypes of the death/doom metal genre) but for those with the patience to get through the record, the journey itself will be fulfilling. Amends is progressive in nature, but not to the point of flamboyancy, becoming redundant by album’s end. With ‘A Portrayal’ breaking the record neatly in half with its clean acoustic picking, the track provides a pleasant break from the rest of the some-what monolithic tracks. This shows Strand knows how to lay off the listener, preventing the album from sounding forced and one directional, further allowing breathing space for the rest of the record. Towards the end of the record, things are taken down a notch. The album’s closer ‘Come Waves’ slows the tempo and relies on a more ethereal, melancholic soundscape. Whilst being the longest track on the album, it does provide a perfect mood setter to close Amends. Don’t be fooled, the track isn’t just acoustic passages intertwined with clean crooning vocals and piano tid-bits. The song also features some of the most intense growls of the album and finishes with some sinister squeals and minimalism thudding. ‘Come Waves’ accents how there can be a middle ground to The Fall Of Every Season’s music highlighting Strand’s songwriting ability.
Overall, The Fall Of Every Season’s Amends, builds off the debut whilst reaffirming Marius’ hold on his music. For anyone familiar with the genre, this album is a ‘must get’. It features some of the strongest and accessible songwriting of the genre, polished by a crystal clear production that gives life to the melancholy in The Fall Of Every Season’s music. Amends highlights just how well the two components of brutal and melancholic can come together to craft a spectacular display of songwriting. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before but rest assured The Fall Of Every Season has absolutely no need for pushing the boundaries of metal. Strand has ticked all the right boxes, and with this release put forward a contender for doom album of the year. All in all, Amends is a thought provoking release which relies heavily on the record’s distinct amount of contrast. Surprisingly, unlike most other one man projects, The Fall Of Every Season doesn’t focus on a single instrument. Each and every component comes together well, complimenting the next. At the end of the record, there’s a slight feeling of safeness, despite the use of some rather brutal features. Make no mistake the record is well-presented but lacks a little something untapped that would see it be an ultimate death/doom metal masterpiece. This aside, Amends is the highly enjoyable and accessible doom metal record of 2013 that shows Strand building from the foundations of From Below. If anything can be taken from this; it’s that The Fall Of Every Season is consistent, yet a little safe with this respectable release. Despite the long wait between drinks (close to six years in fact), Amends is a welcome sophomore, full of articulate twists and turns, although you may know the road ahead.
1. Sole Passenger 11:45
2. The Mammoth 13:27
3. A Portrayal 2:23
4. Aurelia 11:38
5. Come Waves 14:06