Even though “Volvere” already is the fourth album of FALL OF THE LEAFE, I can say that I have never even heard a single sound of the gentlemen with the a bit odd name. I had read quite a few things, not least thanks to Peter’s review of their second output “August Wernicke”, now I also have the occasion of making personal contact with their music.
Already founded in 1996, in a Finnish town with an especially hilarious name: Uusikaupunki, FALL OF THE LEAFE have come a long way from their rather Black Metallic early days, to reach an equally demanding as original mix in 2004, which is hard to really put into words, a sort of Progressive Metal or also Gothic Metal it is, which the sextet offers here on “Volvere” and I can imagine that they will get rather split reactions for it.
“A Waiting Room Snap“ starts surprisingly (at least to me) calm, with a certain (newer) KATATONIA touch, very melodic and at the same time pretty atmospheric, very harmonic start for the album. And it continues in this vein, with good, clean vocals, a lot of quieter passages (often also with clean and acoustic guitars), memories of a mix of newer KATATONIA and ANATHEMA come up, even though I am not a big fan of the newer direction of either band (with the exception of the last KATATONIA album “Viva Emptiness”), I really like what the Finns offer here, having a very cohesive atmosphere and mood.
Here and there the voice of Tuomas Tuominen also gets a little bit more aggressive, as on “Enemy Simulator“, where the music, too, rises in intensity a bit, loosening up the whole thing a bit. Just like “Pillar Of The Sun”, which, supported by a strong bass, everything comes through quite a bit heavier and faster, while the track itself is more “regular” FALL OF THE LEAFE, but rising a bit here and there still, very interesting one! Same on “More Like A Situation”, where we get a few heavier guitars, embedded into a very catchy and melodic song.
What you can, depending on your standpoint, hold for or against FALL OF THE LEAFE is that the compositions are pretty close to each other. Positive is that the album is a compact union, which hardly is broken through by any song, giving a feeling of completeness. On the other side some might say that the whole album more or less sounds the same. I for my part like the stylistic cohesion is very attractive as “Volvere” forms a union.
You won’t find much heaviness, but a lot of feeling and atmosphere, which gives the music a very interesting touch, which makes this CD the perfect musical background for the right mood, especially if the day is a bit greyer and the mood a bit more depressive. Strong album, no question! (Online June 16, 2004)