Rating:
8.9
Falloch - Where Distant Spirits Remain
26 September 2011


01. We Are Gathering Dust
02. Beyond Embers And The Earth
03. Horizons
04. Where We Believe
05. The Carrying Light
06. To Walk Amongst The Dead
07. Solace


It is a rarity with music to find an album that you truly and utterly love. To reach the "absolutely love" status, one must not just like the music, but connect with it. They must feel what the musicians felt during the writing process. Where Distant Spirits Remain is an album I truly love.

It's simple really: When a listener connects with a certain song or album, they listen to it more than other songs or albums. It's a subjective connection. Some of you will connect with the music here the way I have - others will not, because this album evokes the sorrow of a sad, sad musician. No, this isn't very original, and no, the vocalist isn't perfect. And no, this isn't the world's best album. But you're reading this and looking at the rating, wondering, "What gives?" What gives is that when you discover something you deeply connect with, you don't let it go - as with any classic love at first sight story.

With that said, allow me to explain what about the music is so enticing.

The album begins with "We Are Gathering Dust", a lengthy opener perfectly suited for driving your car off a bridge. The song starts with a nice simplistic intro. You're sitting in the front seat. The blast off the verse hits as hard as your foot hits the gas pedal, propelling you back into your seat as the car lurches forward, crashing through the barricade. The chorus follows just as your car hits the water. You're launched through the windshield with immense impact. The car sinks deeper and deeper. The music then mellows out as your body floats back to the surface. Calmly, the sea takes you away...

The entire album works in this fashion, telling you a small story of struggle and woe, of finding a way out of the chaos of life, ebbing and flowing through the 52-minute epic. And in spite of a somewhat out-of-place piano outro, everything here still manages to work almost perfectly.

The high-pitched whiny vocals are technically flawed; however, they demonstrate the appropriate emotions to complement the music. The guitar work is excellent, with a duet of highs and lows for the larger portion of the album and the occasional acoustic bit, flowing effortlessly. When matched with the drums and woodwind instruments, it all comes together, forming a beautiful ambiance. The drums have energy and charisma - fighting the overpowering guitars to find their place in the mix, never giving up.

Overall, this is an album that requires several listens, and a connection. Some may simply label this "hipster garbage". I, however, label it fantastic.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Falloch
Album: Where Distant Spirits Remain


 


written by Boxcar Willy | 24.06.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Troy Killjoy - 24.06.2012 at 04:13  
The only problem I have with this review is that you've essentially gone in-depth about an album you listened to three days prior to submitting it. You call it a subjective masterpiece and say you love it unlike anything you've come across but you didn't even let a week pass before passing that judgment.

With that said, it's still obviously your opinion and you're entitled to it. I judge enough albums as it is based on one or two listens, so it would be hypocritical of me to suggest this is in any way blatantly different from my own listening pattern. It just strikes me as odd when someone claims to fall so hard for something before it passes the test of time.
The Voyager - 24.06.2012 at 04:17  
Totally did not feel anything at all while listening to this release. Felt like another album that's all about making an atmosphere or taking the listener on a journey, but really provides no substance. All about a feeling or a certain sound, and nothing about the actual music or songwriting. Pretty mediocre, in my opinion.
strade - 24.06.2012 at 04:20  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.06.2012 at 04:13

It just strikes me as odd when someone claims to fall so hard for something before it passes the test of time.


I do kind of agree with you here, but I have to say that when you fall hard for a band (or girl), time seems to utterly stop for a while. It feels as if you've been listening to something for ages until you realize you only discovered them in the past week. The same thing happens to me all the time. The reason my rankings/ratings drop so much is because I have to get over said wild tryst of musical passion and look at it with less of a bias.
strade - 24.06.2012 at 04:22  
Written by The Voyager on 24.06.2012 at 04:17

Totally did not feel anything at all while listening to this release. Felt like another album that's all about making an atmosphere or taking the listener on a journey, but really provides no substance. All about a feeling or a certain sound, and nothing about the actual music or songwriting. Pretty mediocre, in my opinion.


Honestly, that's kind of how I felt. It's like they took parts of both Agalloch and Alcest but failed to live up to either. And I'm not on speaking terms with the latter, so that's saying a lot.
Troy Killjoy - 24.06.2012 at 04:22  
Written by strade on 24.06.2012 at 04:20
I do kind of agree with you here, but I have to say that when you fall hard for a band (or girl), time seems to utterly stop for a while. It feels as if you've been listening to something for ages until you realize you only discovered them in the past week. The same thing happens to me all the time. The reason my rankings/ratings drop so much is because I have to get over said wild tryst of musical passion and look at it with less of a bias.

That's true. To support this claim, Willy even changed the rating from a 9.4 to an 8.9 in that week, given the review was sitting in the edit queue for a few extra days.
Boxcar Willy - 24.06.2012 at 04:33  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.06.2012 at 04:22

Written by strade on 24.06.2012 at 04:20
I do kind of agree with you here, but I have to say that when you fall hard for a band (or girl), time seems to utterly stop for a while. It feels as if you've been listening to something for ages until you realize you only discovered them in the past week. The same thing happens to me all the time. The reason my rankings/ratings drop so much is because I have to get over said wild tryst of musical passion and look at it with less of a bias.


That's true. To support this claim, Willy even changed the rating from a 9.4 to an 8.9 in that week, given the review was sitting in the edit queue for a few extra days.

Actually, I just thought that the 9.4 was too high anyway, my opinion hasn't changed on thnis album since I first heard it, and since then I've probably heard it about 15-20 times (I Really like this album)

I understand what you mean, but I started writing the review on the 14th, and I had heard the album at the beggining of that week, So i guess I've had some time to mull this over, more than your average staff review anyway. However even my love for WoY has dropped a tad since I first heard it.

We'll see what my opinion is a few months from now.
Boxcar Willy - 19.07.2012 at 20:27  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.06.2012 at 04:13

The only problem I have with this review is that you've essentially gone in-depth about an album you listened to three days prior to submitting it. You call it a subjective masterpiece and say you love it unlike anything you've come across but you didn't even let a week pass before passing that judgment.

With that said, it's still obviously your opinion and you're entitled to it. I judge enough albums as it is based on one or two listens, so it would be hypocritical of me to suggest this is in any way blatantly different from my own listening pattern. It just strikes me as odd when someone claims to fall so hard for something before it passes the test of time.

Just to let you know, my opinion on this hasn't changed
Doge of Venice - 19.02.2014 at 23:59  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 19.07.2012 at 20:27

Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.06.2012 at 04:13

The only problem I have with this review is that you've essentially gone in-depth about an album you listened to three days prior to submitting it. You call it a subjective masterpiece and say you love it unlike anything you've come across but you didn't even let a week pass before passing that judgment.

With that said, it's still obviously your opinion and you're entitled to it. I judge enough albums as it is based on one or two listens, so it would be hypocritical of me to suggest this is in any way blatantly different from my own listening pattern. It just strikes me as odd when someone claims to fall so hard for something before it passes the test of time.

Just to let you know, my opinion on this hasn't changed


Has it changed yet?
Boxcar Willy - 20.02.2014 at 03:09  
Written by Doge of Venice on 19.02.2014 at 23:59

Has it changed yet?

Not at all. This is still a great release.
Doge of Venice - 20.02.2014 at 04:29  
That's what I was hoping to hear.

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