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Rating:
8.5
Falls Of Rauros - The Light That Dwells In Rotten Wood
4 August 2011


01. Earth's Old Timid Grace
02. Banished
03. Awaiting The Fire Or Flood That Awakes It
04. Nonesuch River Chant
05. Silence
06. The Cormorants Shiver On Their Rocks
07. All That Howling Fog [vinyl edition bonus]


Label: Bindrune Recordings
Vinyl with bonus track sold by Replenish Records.


Acrimonious Vagabond, Abhorrent Wayfarer... these are the names behind the Falls Of Rauros guise, the names that hold the key to a truly jovial existence. The Light That Dwells In Rotten Wood is but a staff that aids its bearer through the darkness, into the light at the end of the tunnel, roaming through lush forests and vast meadows. Here you will find Pagan mentors - but students of life - coexisting amongst the unblemished land, at one with nature and self.

The bleak and despairing emotions typical of atmospheric black metal are only present if sought, as the general laid-back attitude presented by these Americans should all but quell your deepest anxieties and most defeating self-deprecation. The raw feeling typical of traditional black metal is still present, yet there is a glow surrounding the songs that is scarce among the rest of the scene. Yin yang birch roots provide a balanced foundation, moving closer to an equilibrium that Hail Wind And Hewn Oak only narrowly missed, splicing neofolk and black metal without losing sight of one or the other.

Uplifting, epic riffs fill the soul with a warmth comparable to the likes of the mighty sun, not replacing decay but embracing it. Your internal struggles become a matter of ancient history, lost to the tides of time but not forgotten. Angst, despair, loss, apathy - these are all feelings that will be wrapped in blankets of soothing water, drifting away into streams of acceptance... streams given their own special sense of life with an almost hazy production that generates organic flavor.

The over-the-top dramatics here are but a mere reflection of the comforting atmosphere and lulling song structures. There is an incredibly well-crafted story of Pagan defiance and environmentalist survival within these songs, an almost archaic telling of black metal's strongest message: independence. In just 45 minutes Falls Of Rauros manage to consolidate their ideas and express their true feelings, and not entirely in typical black metal fashion. The Light That Dwells In Rotten Wood is a must for those seeking enlightenment beyond the knowledge of man or the knowledge of nature - but what can be achieved with knowledge of both.

Much like the Great River of Wilderland flows over the Falls of Rauros, so too does the river of love flow over the falls of life.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 02.01.2012 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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metaleaterr - 02.01.2012 at 11:08  
Listened this band a few days ago. Nice atmospheric black metal!:thumbup:
Troy Killjoy - 02.01.2012 at 11:11  
Written by metaleaterr on 02.01.2012 at 11:08
Listened this band a few days ago. Nice atmospheric black metal!:thumbup:

Hopefully more people will give this a listen before the MS Awards.
metaleaterr - 02.01.2012 at 11:22  
Yeah..this is a talented group and this album certainly betters the previous one both in terms of songwriting and production. The title itself is interesting.
Merchant of Doom - 02.01.2012 at 13:03  
Brilliant album, if you like this kind of stuff (and I do). Very well recorded, great melodies, organic sound, without losing its edge...
roeder - 02.01.2012 at 13:11  
I think hail wind and hewn oak was better, but still an amazing album.
i'm glad that the so called "hipster black metal" scene is getting some spotlight here
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.01.2012 at 13:41  
Gonna be the first grumpy guts and say that I hope 2012 snips this trend in the ass pretty quickly. There was a time when I could say unequivocally that atmo-black was my favourite genre, back when The Ruins of Beverast, Walknut, A Forest of Stars and what have you fell under the umbrella and all had a unique take and personality of their own. Now though there seems to be a very close huddle of bands doing minor variations of the same theme and it feels horribly oversaturated. This year has been a wake-up call for me with this and Falls of Rauros and its brethren are all part of the guilty crowd, all pushing me further out to explore the more fringe styles of black metal in order to maintain my interest in the genre, which is both a good and bad thing I suppose. At the moment this band is tolerable and listenable, but it's a fair bet to say that 2012 will bring a whole cavalcade of bandwagoners that's going to make this kind of thing totally unpalatable for me, becoming the nouveau DSBM/last week's milk.

But anyway, nevermind the grumpy old man in the corner, go about your business as usual.

</whinge>
Merchant of Doom - 02.01.2012 at 14:22  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.01.2012 at 13:41

Gonna be the first grumpy guts and say that I hope 2012 snips this trend in the ass pretty quickly. There was a time when I could say unequivocally that atmo-black was my favourite genre, back when The Ruins of Beverast, Walknut, A Forest of Stars and what have you fell under the umbrella and all had a unique take and personality of their own. Now though there seems to be a very close huddle of bands doing minor variations of the same theme and it feels horribly oversaturated. This year has been a wake-up call for me with this and Falls of Rauros and its brethren are all part of the guilty crowd, all pushing me further out to explore the more fringe styles of black metal in order to maintain my interest in the genre, which is both a good and bad thing I suppose. At the moment this band is tolerable and listenable, but it's a fair bet to say that 2012 will bring a whole cavalcade of bandwagoners that's going to make this kind of thing totally unpalatable for me, becoming the nouveau DSBM/last week's milk.

But anyway, nevermind the grumpy old man in the corner, go about your business as usual.

</whinge>



yeah, that's why I started hating funeral doom...
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.01.2012 at 14:26  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.01.2012 at 14:22



yeah, that's why I started hating funeral doom...

I was under the impression it was your favourite genre? With funeral doom you don't really get the luxury of enjoying particular avenues of it as it all more or less falls within the same ballpark. You can love one area of black metal and hate another.
Merchant of Doom - 02.01.2012 at 14:37  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.01.2012 at 14:26

Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.01.2012 at 14:22



yeah, that's why I started hating funeral doom...

I was under the impression it was your favourite genre? With funeral doom you don't really get the luxury of enjoying particular avenues of it as it all more or less falls within the same ballpark. You can love one area of black metal and hate another.


well, it still is... but "lots" of people have started banging on and on about it, often in a very misguided way (confusing death/doom with funeral), to the point that they are making me hating it. I wouldn't say, though, that funeral doom doesn't offer the same variety... there is variety even in funeral doom, if you look hard enough...

But it's a normal reaction... when people jump on the bandwagon and you get an endless number of copycats, it becomes boring... having said that, I tend to take the bands at face value, outside the perceived genre they are supposed to represent or people put them in. I also don't believe the so called "atmo BM" - cascadian, nature-inspired, whatever - will take off. It's not that popular now and I don't see it getting more popular. It's not in the same territory as Alcest's and the lot.
Mr. Doctor - 02.01.2012 at 14:42  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.01.2012 at 13:41
</whinge>

Got confused here, with which bands are you comparing this stuff? Alcest, woods of desolation and the like?
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.01.2012 at 15:06  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.01.2012 at 14:42

Got confused here, with which bands are you comparing this stuff? Alcest, woods of desolation and the like?

Ash Borer, Echtra, Petrychor, Alda, Verwüstung and yeah to a certain extent stuff like Alcest, WoD, even Ephiles and that general area. All strike me with a distinct lack of identity. (sorry Troy, lots of things you like/have reviewed. If it's any consolation I listened to them and got tired of most of them before they started floating around MS.)
Mr. Doctor - 02.01.2012 at 15:19  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.01.2012 at 15:06

Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.01.2012 at 14:42

Got confused here, with which bands are you comparing this stuff? Alcest, woods of desolation and the like?

Ash Borer, Echtra, Petrychor, Alda, Verwüstung and yeah to a certain extent stuff like Alcest, WoD, even Ephiles and that general area. All strike me with a distinct lack of identity.


I fail to see how Ash Borer takes part of that group. It's stuff like Alcest and WoD, that is... this shoegaze/post-rock/black that is getting out of hand imo.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.01.2012 at 15:22  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.01.2012 at 15:19


I fail to see how Ash Borer takes part of that group. It's stuff like Alcest and WoD, that is... this shoegaze/post-rock/black that is getting out of hand imo.

Two sides of the same coin if you ask me.
Mr. Doctor - 02.01.2012 at 15:24  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.01.2012 at 15:22
Two sides of the same coin if you ask me.


Care to elaborate? Besides from the fact that bans like Ash Borer and I dunno... WoD are both labeled as atmospheric BM I fail to see anything else.

Edit: On a closer listening to latest Ash Borer I'm getting your point since it feels like a dark version of the others mentioned.
The big difference is probably that I don't share your opinions on the matter, while I agree that we have too much of the same stuff without variation/identity I do think that bands like Ash Borer try to be a bit different.
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.01.2012 at 15:39  
Nothing special at all
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.01.2012 at 15:40  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.01.2012 at 13:41

Gonna be the first grumpy guts and say that I hope 2012 snips this trend in the ass pretty quickly. There was a time when I could say unequivocally that atmo-black was my favourite genre, back when The Ruins of Beverast, Walknut, A Forest of Stars and what have you fell under the umbrella and all had a unique take and personality of their own. Now though there seems to be a very close huddle of bands doing minor variations of the same theme and it feels horribly oversaturated. This year has been a wake-up call for me with this and Falls of Rauros and its brethren are all part of the guilty crowd, all pushing me further out to explore the more fringe styles of black metal in order to maintain my interest in the genre, which is both a good and bad thing I suppose. At the moment this band is tolerable and listenable, but it's a fair bet to say that 2012 will bring a whole cavalcade of bandwagoners that's going to make this kind of thing totally unpalatable for me, becoming the nouveau DSBM/last week's milk.

But anyway, nevermind the grumpy old man in the corner, go about your business as usual.

</whinge>


100% agreed.
Merchant of Doom - 02.01.2012 at 15:43  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.01.2012 at 15:40


100% agreed.


another grumpy old man!
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.01.2012 at 15:50  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.01.2012 at 15:43

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.01.2012 at 15:40


100% agreed.


another grumpy old man!


At least I have the excuse that I AM old, unlike JOOE
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.01.2012 at 15:59  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.01.2012 at 15:24


Care to elaborate? Besides from the fact that bans like Ash Borer and I dunno... WoD are both labeled as atmospheric BM I fail to see anything else.

Edit: On a closer listening to latest Ash Borer I'm getting your point since it feels like a dark version of the others mentioned.
The big difference is probably that I don't share your opinions on the matter, while I agree that we have too much of the same stuff without variation/identity I do think that bands like Ash Borer try to be a bit different.

Well while I accept the differences between the likes of say, WoD and Falls of Rauros, all I hear is Burzum-esque guitar tones saturating effusive, melacholic riffs and progressions with folky/post-rock breakdowns and clean moments. It all amounts to the same thing to me, just slightly different ways of approaching it. It's something that I appreciated about 3 years ago but now it's just very samey.
Merchant of Doom - 02.01.2012 at 16:04  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.01.2012 at 15:59

Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.01.2012 at 15:24


Care to elaborate? Besides from the fact that bans like Ash Borer and I dunno... WoD are both labeled as atmospheric BM I fail to see anything else.

Edit: On a closer listening to latest Ash Borer I'm getting your point since it feels like a dark version of the others mentioned.
The big difference is probably that I don't share your opinions on the matter, while I agree that we have too much of the same stuff without variation/identity I do think that bands like Ash Borer try to be a bit different.

Well while I accept the differences between the likes of say, WoD and Falls of Rauros, all I hear is Burzum-esque guitar tones saturating effusive, melacholic riffs and progressions with folky/post-rock breakdowns and clean moments. It all amounts to the same thing to me, just slightly different ways of approaching it. It's something that I appreciated about 3 years ago but now it's just very samey.


sounds like Panopticon to me...
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.01.2012 at 16:05  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.01.2012 at 16:04



sounds like Panopticon to me...

Panopticon have the balls to make their music non-user friendly. Mush less emo-ish than most other bands. Haven't listened to the new one properly though.
Merchant of Doom - 02.01.2012 at 16:14  
I think you are right... I only remember the more melodic stuff from Collapse, but the rest is much more in your face, until the acoustic guitar kicks in... listening to it now!
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.01.2012 at 16:56  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.01.2012 at 16:14

I think you are right... I only remember the more melodic stuff from Collapse, but the rest is much more in your face, until the acoustic guitar kicks in... listening to it now!

Yeah Panopticon have a certain "weird" factor about them that I like. Curious effects, here and there, strange use of the acoustic guitar etc.
Slayer666 - 02.01.2012 at 19:43  
@ the rant about the recent onslaught of atmospheric BM

I for one am happy to be on the current bandwagon. I have little to no doubt 2012 will be over-saturated with similar releases to the point when it all just blends together and becomes one mediocre mess. Until then, however, I'll enjoy the ride and sup up as many albums in this style as I can, provided they're around the same level of quality as this one, or many others Troy reviewed.
Troy Killjoy - 02.01.2012 at 21:19  
Written by Slayer666 on 02.01.2012 at 19:43
I for one am happy to be on the current bandwagon. I have little to no doubt 2012 will be over-saturated with similar releases to the point when it all just blends together and becomes one mediocre mess.

Agreed on both parts (and ya, partially agreeing with Joe too). I love the style to be honest, no different than when you see all the prog metal fans praising every prog metal album... it's just a sound that you either like or don't I guess. I know it's going to take off even more than it already has, and that's what separates the objective from the subjective, when you can look at the watered down stuff and compare it to the genuinely good stuff and score them accordingly.

I'll take no issue with giving something a 5/10 in this style if I think it necessary.
RavenKing - 03.01.2012 at 02:56  
I checked this a while ago because I was searching for something along Summoning's lines.
I haven't been impressed at all. Not enough to buy the album, for sure.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 11:42  
Written by RavenKing on 03.01.2012 at 02:56

I checked this a while ago because I was searching for something along Summoning's lines.


I take it as it's just a coincidence right? Because there's no relation between those two bands :\
Slayer666 - 03.01.2012 at 11:57  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 11:42

I take it as it's just a coincidence right? Because there's no relation between those two bands :\


I don't know, that cover reminds me a lot of Lugburz.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 12:03  
Written by Slayer666 on 03.01.2012 at 11:57
I don't know, that cover reminds me a lot of Lugburz.

Uhhhh... how about no?




Look! There's a mountain in both... and look! it's black and white artwork... It must be the same goddamn artist because it can't be coincidence that they are SO similar.
Slayer666 - 03.01.2012 at 12:15  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 12:03

Look! There's a mountain in both... and look! it's black and white artwork... It must be the same goddamn artist because it can't be coincidence that they are SO similar.


There's also fog or something on both.

(btw, you really suck at detecting sarcasm in text )
-DC-002- - 03.01.2012 at 12:15  
I was listening to the title track while Vin Diesel and the Rock were fighting, it went together disturbingly well.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 12:19  
Written by Slayer666 on 03.01.2012 at 12:15
(btw, you really suck at detecting sarcasm in text )


I didn't have any more money after my previous sarcasm detector had an accident



Also... Not really, there isn't much sarcasm to notice in a comment like "I don't know, that cover reminds me a lot of Lugburz". It could easily be seen as a regular comment. Unless all of your posts and reviews are sarcastic. Not to mention there is a large amount of people that discover music just because of the artwork.
Slayer666 - 03.01.2012 at 12:27  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 12:19

Also... Not really, there isn't much sarcasm to notice in a comment like "I don't know, that cover reminds me a lot of Lugburz". It could easily be seen as a regular comment. Unless all of your posts and reviews are sarcastic.


Oh yes there is. Unless you think I have little enough IQ to assume the same artist is behind albums which have only vaguely similar covers, but then that's a different story/problem.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 12:28  
Written by Slayer666 on 03.01.2012 at 12:27
Unless you think I have little enough IQ

Don't need to discuss more about it.
Also, I'm pretty sure my first comment with the 2 pics reeked of sarcasm as well.
Slayer666 - 03.01.2012 at 12:29  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 12:28

Don't need to discuss more about it.


In the words of today's Internet generation: "Stfu, bitch".
VloRD - 03.01.2012 at 18:25  
The album cover...jeez, A little too simple don't you think?
It's just amateur photography of a couple of mountains turned black and white. Almost gives me a feeling of a lack of effort. Fortunately The album doesn't reflect that.
Troy Killjoy - 03.01.2012 at 20:12  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 12:19
Not to mention there is a large amount of people that discover music just because of the artwork.

Not to mention both bands are atmospheric black metal with mountains on their album covers who take inspiration from Tolkien.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 20:17  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.01.2012 at 20:12

Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 12:19
Not to mention there is a large amount of people that discover music just because of the artwork.

Not to mention both bands are atmospheric black metal with mountains on their album covers who take inspiration from Tolkien.


Wait what? Does Falls Of Rauros have Tolkien influences?
Troy Killjoy - 03.01.2012 at 20:21  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 20:17
Wait what? Does Falls Of Rauros have Tolkien influences?

The very last sentence in the review. You should read it.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 20:34  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.01.2012 at 20:21

Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 20:17
Wait what? Does Falls Of Rauros have Tolkien influences?

The very last sentence in the review. You should read it.


Quote:
Much like the Great River of Wilderland flows over the Falls of Rauros, so to does the river of love flow over the falls of life.

Is it me or it should be "so too does the river..."?
Troy Killjoy - 03.01.2012 at 20:37  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 20:34
Is it me or it should be "so too does the river..."?

Will fix that, but you missed the LOTR reference. >>
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 20:49  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.01.2012 at 20:37

Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 20:34
Is it me or it should be "so too does the river..."?

Will fix that, but you missed the LOTR reference. >>


Hhahahahhah yeah because that's much words.. At least it's good to know I'm not the only idiot that didn't read the review properly.
Troy Killjoy - 03.01.2012 at 20:51  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 20:49
Hhahahahhah yeah because that's much words.. At least it's good to know I'm not the only idiot that didn't read the review properly.

I suppose it wasn't the most blatant reference. I could have said FALLS OF RAUROS TAKE THEIR NAME FROM... THE FALLS OF RAUROS IN LOTR.

But I guess I'm just to(o) fucking cryptic.
Oaken - 11.06.2012 at 01:55  
I can't get this album. Dunno why, but whenever I press play, I get the urge to stop listening when the melodies come in. I managed to listen to it fully once, but no more. It's either I've had enough atmospheric black metal for now or this is totally uninteresting.
BoxCar Willy - 30.08.2012 at 06:12  
Decent album.

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