Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Fear Falls Burning - Frenzy Of The Absolute (excerpt)
So apparently this guy never uses drums. Who knew? Certainly not me, and I would guess anyone else who used Frenzy Of The Absolute as an introduction to the one man band known as Fear Falls Burning would be just as surprised as I was when I discovered that little nugget of info. I mean, the first track opens up with almost nothing but drums, save for some static drone in the background. You can only know so much from reading about the sound of a band. And whenever I read about Fear Falls Burning, I failed to see the disclaimer, "There are no drums on this record!" That being said, we can view Frenzy Of The Absolute as a serious departure from whatever FFB was doing before.
So here's the announcement: Frenzy Of The Absolute has drums! OMG, I know. I'm sure you're shocked. Well, the good news (maybe?) is that it doesn't only have drums. There's lots and lots of frightening guitar drone. Stuff that starts relatively innocuous but during the course of the song slowly builds to drown out even the hammering percussion. Or vice versa. Sometimes the drums build to match the drone. Either way, it builds or it falls (burning?) and it sounds good.
There's 3 tracks totaling almost an hour's worth of awesomeness. And all of it is super thick and heavy. The title track is slow moving, a giant troll lumbering towards you from the distance, making more and more of a racket as he gets closer, groaning and splashing his way through lakes. And for a guy that is a newcomer to the whole percussion + music thing, Fear Falls Burning does a damn good job at it. The drums aren't used sparingly but they don't get in the way of anything either.
By the time the 20 minute title track is over, "He Contemplates The Sign" comes in with bowed cymbals, completely lacking any traditional percussion for a solid 11 minutes, and even then it's pretty sparse. It's a great song that gives me more of an idea what old school FFB sounds like: dark drone and scary as hell.
The final track, "We Took The Deafening Murmer Down," truly rocks. A sweet echoey riff, while pseudo-organ sounds burn underneath. And again, everything grows in size, attempting to clobber you over the head with doom. No drums, though. Not yet. FFB knows patience and he saves the best for last. The last couple of minutes are truly punishing. An epic post rock climax of Godspeed proportions, albeit a doomy post rock climax. I love the moments that are so fleeting, yet so rewarding. The kind that you would spend 15 bucks for it alone. This is one of those moments.
Clearly, this is recommended. 53 minutes of doomdrone with drums. How can you say no to that? And by the way, if you stole this record, then I thought I'd let you know that the liner notes recommend using headphones or playing it very loudly...or both. Not that you wouldn't be doing that anyway.