Melancholic and full of depressive moods and feelings, Falaise’s debut album is filled to the brim with sadness, loss and abandoned hope.
The band channel this misery into 61 minutes of atmospheric/post-black metal that uses fragility as a weapon and despondency as an end unto itself.
In many ways this is a product of the blackgaze scene, with all that entails. Some will no doubt take issue with that, of course, as it’s a style with a very narrow-focus. Be that as it may, I feel that in the case of Falaise, it’s somewhat missing the point, as they have produced an album that bares its throat willingly, daring the listener to draw first blood. On As Time Goes By it’s all about emotional overload and an assault of the senses by a band that are throwing everything they have into the dark side of human emotions. In this regard, they do their job well.
Regardless of potential detractors, the fact is that As Time Goes By is a very enjoyable drawn-out suicide note. The band pick their melodies and blackened riffs well, using them to construct their atmospheric black metal in a way that does exactly what you expect it to, but not in a bad way.
The songs have lots of emotive depressive content, as is standard, and holistically the album takes the listener on a trip into darkened realms. There’s a decent amount of variety included too, with fast, slow and mid-paced sections all used appropriately throughout the playing time. Extra synths/keyboards add increased depth to the music, when used.
The vocals are low in the mix and almost static-like in places. I’ve opined before that this is my favoured style of vocals for this kind of thing, and the singer of Falaise performs them very well. In fact, possibly better than most, as there’s a bit more variety in the vocal style here than you usually find in similar bands; a few different types of screams are employed, with even some deeper growls too.
So, to sum up – here we have an atmospheric and depressive style of black metal, liberally sprinkled with post-metal reflection, all wrapped up in misery, woe and hopelessness. As Time Goes By does exactly what it sets out to do, and does it with an authentic passion that comes out loud and clear through the band’s playing and the singer’s impassioned screams.
Turn off the lights, put on the album, and start considering the existential nightmare of everyday life.