Title: A Place I Don’t Belong To
Label: Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum
Release Date: 29 March 2019
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
In most cases, heavy metal is associated with toughness, with the idea of not giving a thought to anything or going through life without a single care in the world, but these are fantasies that are not even close to reality. We are human beings that suffer, that do care and that are vulnerable, even if some will never admit such a thing. Usually, metal helps us with a welcomed confidence boost to conquer the day. I certainly feel better when I get my morning fix with Diocletian, Vermin Womb or Hissing. Nonetheless, every once in a while I want to be my exposed self, therefore I need a band that can complement these feelings. With this, I don’t mean the ones that make me want to slit my throat and accept the cold embrace of death, but the ones that push me to consider the fragility of life, while sitting alone with a lit cigarette. Falaise fits this niche perfectly.
Falaise is a duo formed in Italy in 2015 and “A Place I Don’t Belong To” is their third full-length and their name is in French and it translates to “cliff”.
The album is consists of eight songs, adding up to a moderate 45 minutes of playtime. It opens with a short intro, that lacks any sort of distortion and has only a beautiful piano line with a bit of synth added. Once my home starts off with a clear guitar and after a minute or so an anguished shriek completes Falaise’s formula: a healthy blend of post-rock and black metal, but a really balanced one. The songs are long enough so they have breathing room without being rushed, but not too long to give the impression that they drag on excessively. The transitions from the calm post-rock moments to the furious black metal drumming are so natural meaning that every song is coherent and can be seen as a progression rather than a few changeovers clumsily stitched together. The other songs follow, mostly, the same idea, with a few elements that set them apart from each other. Songs like Once my home or the title track stick to classic metal elements, while When the sun was warming my heart or my favorite track, An emptiness full of you, make use of a synth choir to bring forth some truly grandiose and memorable moments. The album closer, Holding nothing, doesn’t slow down almost at all until the end and I think it’s very fitting choice.
The overall theme of the album is the loneliness of the modern human, that is stuck between concrete and steel beams and wishes to fit in, but without luck. I advise you to give it a listen while you are in the city with hundreds of people around you, however, feeling increasingly lonely. You could also listen to it while you’re in the comfort of your bed, but I assure you that you will not get the best experience. I found it soul crushing, because I know most of us to feel like they don’t have a place where they fit in perfectly, and the album captures that burning desire to belong somewhere in an awe inspiring way.
I can sense some of the people reading this rolling their eyes into the back of their head, thinking that this is not ‘trve kvlt’ or that it is defamation for black metal. To those people, I say do let the stupid preconceptions behind and give this a chance. Drop the elitist badge and hop in on the development train of the heavy metal genre, because you will discover some great projects along the way.
With “A Place I Don’t Belong To”, Falaise displays a beautiful mastery of the post-black metal sound and show us, with impressive ease, a less explored side of our ever expanding genre. 8.5/10 Metal Gentleman
8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory!
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.