(DGR prepared the following very enthusiastic review of the new album by Fallensun from Prince George, British Columbia, which is out now via Bandcamp.)
It has been a blessing in disguise that the recent crop of newer crew inhabiting the upper reaches of the NCS cave have somewhat similar taste to my own. It has freed me up tremendously to just bounce around the internet and look for projects that might otherwise have a hard time getting out into the wider reaches of the metal-sphere while stuff that I would normally consider myself on the hook for has found pretty good coverage here. It’s let me make strange trips, review quieter and more ambient albums, and also get into some crushingly heavy stuff by way of just bouncing around the internet.
To put it mildly, my recent musical discovery quests have been executed with the grace of a body having been thrown down a mine shaft. I don’t know where I’ll land or what stuff might’ve fallen through the NCS net that I’ll catch but its been great so far. The most recent discoveries have been a vast combination of things, including albums that came out earlier in the year – in quite a few recent cases, in February – that are really worth looking in to. Thus, I found myself at the doorstep of Canada’s melodeath/prog-death hybrid Fallensun and their album The Wake Of The Fall.
Even though The Wake Of The Fall is a full-length record, it’s a credit to Fallensun that the album seems to make the time fly like an EP would. It weighs in at all the right categories – a trim, just under thirty-five minutes spread across six songs – but it moves across those six songs so well that it becomes one of those releases where once you start it, you might as well finish it because there’s no point where it drags its feet. There is always something there to keep you locked in.
It’s one of those rare acts I would’ve last credited to The Ocean despite their completely different genre explorations from the prog-death of Fallensun, where you’ll start a disc and quickly reach the last song with a bewildered ‘wait, its been how long already?’. It helps that Fallensun bookend The Wake Of The Fall with two gorgeous instrumentals in the form of “Enervation” and “Invisible Light” – two songs with only a two=second difference between them even – so that by the end of the album it does feel like you’ve completed a listening journey. Often just to find yourself looping back around again
After the introduction of “Enervation” The Wake Of The Fall plays its ambitous hand early, erecting a very high wall on its second song, “The Language, Death, Eternal”. You can surmise quickly where the band have obtained their prog-death tag because “The Language, Death, Eternal” is far-reaching in scope. It sails a little over nine minutes in length and attempts to make full use of every second it has access to. You’ll also get a great picture of what Fallensun are trying to do with the album; attempting to make the music match the cold, blue hues of the cover art and picking through a whole arsenal of melodic leads and harsh highs to summon forth ideas of frozen lakes and snow.
It is also during the nine-minutes of “The Language, Death, Eternal” that Fallensun demonstrate a very deft knack for dancing on a handful of different genre barriers while also melding them together like a chemist gone mad. The mixture works in the band’s favor as the various hybridized genres tend to naturally boil down to ‘wow, there are some beautiful passages of music contained here’.
What came as a surprise was one of the moments that really crystalized The Wake Of The Fall as an excellent release. Given that the four songs and two instrumentals here are as expansive as the tag team of Fallensun could get them to be, it’s imaginable that every moment is different, but I would be curious to see just how many landed at the same spot I did: the closing guitar lead to “Searching The Darkened Skies”. That song is more in line with its two other compatriots at about six minutes in length, but as a very good way to hook listeners in an already tight album, “Searching The Darkened Skies” is a weapon.
It’s one of the songs that stands out so much that you could go with it separately, whereas every other song tends to make you want to listen to the disc as a whole. There’s a magnetic quality to that song that draws you in, even among the tracklisting of an album that is already doing a great job of locking listeners in. Even though I’d be tempted to recommend just listening to The Wake Of The Fall as a whole, given its compact nature, if forced to choose just one song it would be “Searching The Darkened Skies”. The guitar melodies woven throughout are a force of nature.
I had hoped and somewhat guessed that 2021 would be a year where there’d be a lot of opportunities to discover new groups. After 2020’s ‘We’re all trapped inside’ torrent, 2021 seemed like the slate would be pretty wide open and opaque as to what to expect from more ‘established’ acts. Thus, the opportunity to dive deep into the maelstrom of heavy metal and explore bands we would’ve otherwise not had the chance to. Fallensun are one of the fruits of that labor.
The Wake Of The Fall came out at the tail-end of February and yet has proven to be a recent surprise on this end. It is a sleek album, where each of its thirty-four minutes are used to the fullest, neatly bookended and with four absolutely gorgeous – if frozen in aesthetic – songs that make that time fly by in a blink, the sort of musical magic trick that is always worth looking into.