The Fall Of Every Season comprises of a single person, Marius Strand who takes care of vocals, instruments and programming. ‘Amends’ is his second album and like with many one man bands there’s the possibility that this is either hit or miss. Thankfully for me this 5 track album is pretty much ‘hit’ all the way.
“Sole Passenger” starts of rather laconically but steadily builds ’til the death vocals come in over heavily distorted but very melodically played guitar. This quickly drops down to acoustic guitars with harmoniously sung clean vocals. The distorted guitar, clean vocals, acoustic guitar, death vocals combinations vary and alternate several times throughout the 12 minute track with great effect, since the slow tempo remains unchanged throughout.
The shortest track on the album, “A Portrayal” is more a brief acoustic guitar interlude, providing a little atmosphere, even if it’s on a more melancholic note.
I guess the only comparable band I can come up with would be Opeth, as they too write long sweeping opuses that can be both beautiful and haunting simultaneously. When the “The Mammoth” starts, you’re led to believe it’s going to be laboriously slow, but that very quickly changes as death growls, fast drums and heavy guitars kick in. It does temper down to a steadier but no less heavy plod, with some acoustic bridges for good measure. His lead breaks are also extremely well played and thought out, complementing the rhythm melody and adding to it, rather than being something simply thrown on top to have one there.
“Aurelia” on the other hand has a much softer feel to it, even though the guitars are just as heavy as the death vocals used to balance the clean and make them appear even gentler because of it.
Funnily enough, “Aurelia” ends to the sound of waves crashing rather than “Come Waves” beginning with them. The crunching guitars and death vocals take over and the full raw power washes over you and carries you away. However what we also have here is when the song slows down, the clean vocals are being sung with so much emotion that the music takes a step back to allow them to convey their sentiment further. It then builds up again to a tremendous crescendo, to end abruptly leaving you with a minutes silence to contemplate the hour you’ve just spent listening to this album.
So if you like long brooding songs which are able to transport your emotions to different places while you absorb their aural excellence, then ‘Amends’ is well worth diving into.
(8/10 Marco Gaminara)