Falaise - As Time Goes By - (6/10)
Published on October 26, 2016
Genre:Atmospheric Black / Post Rock
Italian two-piece Falaise are a young band for sure. Forming in just 2015, and releasing their debut, As Time Goes By in the same year, the band hasn’t wasted any time in trying to get audience attention and make their way in the atmospheric/post black metal world. After that independent release was able to circulate a bit thanks to digital outlets, the band was picked up by A.T.M.F who re-released the album digitally to a bit of a wider landscape in August 2016. Following just a month later, the A.T.M.F sub-label A Sad Sadness Song is giving the album it’s first physical release.The band certainly knows the pieces that make up the sounds of some of their predecessors, from the soaring melodies and “light” instrumentation to screamed vocals being a touch lower in the mix to add more atmosphere than aggression, Falaise are students of the soul for sure but thus far seem to be missing what makes acts such as Alcest and An Autumn For Crippled Children stand out from a lot of others.
There is no denying that the instrumental aspect of the album is quite beautiful in most places. Even during the “heavier” sections, the wall of sound being created still feels light in some ways and a lot more of a method linking together the softer parts, adding to the emotion the songs are trying to create than to just simply blast the listener into oblivion. The tone of the guitars is reminiscent of some earlier Alcest work, and the melodies are well planned to help each track move along. However, while the ideas the band have are nice, the application tends to miss the mark a bit. The heavier parts of the tracks seem to feel too familiar from one track to another, and the transitions from the softer to the harsher are a little too abrupt on too many of the tracks. Interestingly, as the album continues, the songs feel more fluid and cohesive, and actually become a bit more enjoyable.
After the sixth, and title track on the record, the songs seem to come together a little better, and the record starts to feel more enjoyable. However, there is still a bit of an issue with the vocals on the album. They are low in the mix for sure, helping to add atmosphere at times, but are also fairly monotonous and don’t really add too much to the actual musical output. The drumming also comes off a little to thin on quite a few tracks, despite having some shining moments as well throughout the release. The record is very interesting for sure, almost as if it begged to be something more. There is a lot of emotion being felt at certain times, where as there are plenty of “paint by numbers” moments for this style of music that come across as just having been done better by others. There are some great ideas to be uncovered on As Time Goes By, but even the pick up on the last part of the release still just feel lacking when other bands in the genre are still releasing top quality material.
One of the bigger points to notice is the time of release for this album. While it initially hit digital platforms in 2015, the wider audiences are not going to be getting to this release until the late part of 2016, where established acts such as the aforementioned Alcest have also released new material. It is hard not to look at this and and have some immediate comparisons come to mind of other bands within the same field, which is something that feels like the band can work on with some more seasoning. Theres are ideas here that can be fine tuned and hopefully these two can begin to step away from their influences and start to carve there own name. As Time Goes By is not exactly a bad album, but just bland in a lot of ways, and again feels very much like a sense of been there, done that. These two are something to keep an eye on for fans of the style, but hopefully they can expand and stretch themselves a little more next time out.