This band struck me completely unaware. I had no inkling as to their existence, until I saw this album’s art on the Amazon March Metal sale page. I’ve come to understand through the recent years that the better the art the more likely I am to enjoy the band in question. The Fall of Every Season is an atmospheric metal band from Norway whose career to this point I am wholly unfamiliar, and this album, “Amends,” sent me scrambling to Dark Lyrics to judge their songwriter’s abilities.
The Fall of Every Season walks down a similar path to Opeth, blending acoustic, clean passages with doom and death metal styles to craft their atmosphere; however, the use of classic rock elements and jazz fusion moments are not found here. Generally, melodic progression is similar; however, if this is even possible, The Fall of Every Season’s sound is so densely packed that it took me three weeks to truly get through to the point where I felt a review was sensible. Without listening to the album, I believe that is as close to defining the music crafted here.
Designed as a concept with no explanation, “Amends” opens with movement, albeit with little energy. A jangling bass chugs in after a sample of train station sounds crafting this feeling of movement well. The acoustic seems to accentuate the knocking sounds from a train ride as the vehicle’s wheels amble down its track. I concur with the Angry Metal Guy review in which “Sole Passenger” is quiet probably the most engaging of tracks. Once that song comes on, I have yet to not be able to listen to the entire album, which quickly roars in to “The Mammoth” thereafter with its heavy and focused pummeling riffs.
Strand’s voice is clear, ranging from deep, bellowing roars to his fragile, nearly bardic clean singing voice. The best example of this is “Aurelia,” a hauntingly beautiful and warm song in which the trade off between harsh and gentle are perfectly juxtaposed. To wit, this is the best song and example, in my opinion, of the band (and was noted on the fan page on facebook as being the most stand alone of the songs). The variation, and focus, of the use of each instrument’s sound and its exact timing in the composition is stunningly executed, developing from the intended melancholic mood yet creating a warmth in entire piece.
The most obvious flaw of the work is the mix: at times when the music is immensely layered, my ear struggled to pick out the subtlety that Strand had interjected in this album. Though this flaw can be easily be overlooked, it does create a touch of a disconnect at points from this tapestry (yes, that’s the best analogy I have for this album). If Strand’s music, which pounds with its death metal in restraint, its doom metal moments never fell quite so pitch black and its account moments emphasize mellow fragility, is comparable to any one project (if not in a direct sound analogue), it would be Alcest. This is a reinvigoration of this death/doom mix that has become so played out that even those that forged its sound are beginning to distance themselves from it. This album is bittersweet in its melancholy; it remembers the warmth and develops it well. Overall, if you consider yourself a music fan at all, you should listen to this album.
An open note to Mr Strand: Please, do not make those of us that found this beautiful piece of work wait six years for another glimpse of your creativity.