Falls Of RaurosFalls of Rauros are a band that deserve your undivided attention; since forming in 2005, the Maine four-piece have put out two solid full lengths but are often overlooked in the world of atmospheric black metal for ‘bigger’ acts such as Alcest and Agalloch. However, since their split with Panopticon (an absolutely essential record, by the way), it seems Falls are being paid their dues and third album ‘Believe in No Coming Shore’ may finally put them in that much deserved hall of fame, alongside the aforementioned bands.

Despite its black metal framework, ‘Believe…’ is bold and vibrant, awash with delicate harmonies and intricate guitar work. The production quality is laid back and adds another dimension to the music, allowing the instruments stand out on their own, while the vocals come from a faraway place, meaning every element can be enjoyed individually. The guitars are definitely the centre piece for this record; they brandish a harmonious, melodic and utterly gripping quality that’s ridiculously catchy.

While the vocals are seemingly tertiary, it’s important not to forget the themes of the songs on this record, they are an encouraging nudge towards exploration of the inner self and a reminder that us, and us alone, are responsible for our actions and the impact that they have on the world around us. The song structures are equally evocative as the lyrical matter, with every part seemingly building up to something greater and more intense.

This is as far removed from a stereotypical metal album as one can go without leaving the genre altogether; it’s thought provoking, the subject matter enlightening and the instrumental work is pretty and mellow – the only hint that this is in fact a metal album are the harshly screamed vocals. Falls of Rauros are currently one of the best bands that atmospheric black metal has to offer and it would be a grave error to overlook the raw musical talent this four-piece has to offer. ‘Believe…’ is cohesive, compelling and simply a must own album.

(8.5 Angela Davey)