Thursday, August 22, 2013
Fall Of The Idols - Solemn Verses
Solemn Verses is Fall Of The Idols' third full-length, all on I Hate, since forming back in 2000. That might not seem as a prolific recording career, however the Finns have also released 6 demos and two splits during that time so they haven't really been slacking. Back in 2012 the band announced they already have a fourth album written and demoed but once it has been properly recorded and released they will cease as a recording act and only play live from then on. If this has to do with the death of drummer Hannu Weckman I don't know so only time will tell what happens with this excellent band. If the so far fourth unreleased album never materializes, then Solemn Verses is the perfect swansong since it is an amazing classic funeral doom recording.
Doom metal is one of my favourite genres and as with any genre sub-genres develop for better or worse. Some sub-genres blossom and take on a life of their own while others crash and burn. Some might object that I call Fall Of The Idols a funeral doom band but to me that's what they are and they are excellent at this. And that says a lot because even for a doomhead like myself funeral doom is an acquired taste but these Finns have a couple of traits that sets them apart from the rest. Those traits are Jyrki's singing, actually singing and hardly any growling/clean vocals like the tired beauty and the beast theme and there are no pianos or keyboards that just about every other funeral doom band include. And let's not forget the triple guitar attack which actually brings up their music to a whole different level. It could have been overkill with three axes but it works fantastically well for the band.
Starting off with The One That Awaits Fall Of The Idols come at you slow and heavy like a nightmare that actually comes alive but you're tied down and can't do anything about it...just like in a dream. It's creepy but yet wonderful and it keeps me mesmerized from the word go. To build even more on this the latter half of the song actually goes into fast mode becoming even more crushing. And that's another thing the band does so well, they know how to build atmospheres and emotions with such ease. If it has to do with the Finnish psyche and melancholy I don't know but it is goddamned fantastic!
The previously mentioned song is the one that actually differs from the rest because of the speedier second half while the rest of the songs follow a slower more punishing tempo. There is more build-up that gradually intensifies - not much but still - towards the end of each track and much of that comes from the guitars. Having three guitar players creates different layers of imagery and feelings than keyboards would and in the case of Fall Of The Idols that plays to their advantage. Everything becomes more organic, more alive this way. Singer Jyrki helps out a bit taking care of effects but it is Rami, Jouni and Tommi who are the chief orchestrators in painting the musical visualizations. Of course the lyrics add another dimension to the songs.
As a long time supporter of Fall Of The Idols I recommend any of their albums, The Womb Of The Earth and The Seance, as well as this one to anyone who wants to check them out. Each album are great although if I am forced to pick one as the initiation rite it would Solemn Verses. It's the most well-honed and well-crafted of their releases and it epitomizes everything this band is. Be open-minded if you are brand new to this style because, like I said above, funeral doom is an acquired and it might be hard to digest at first. Don't give up, soldier on instead because the rewards when their music makes sense are amazing. So get a copy, sit down preferably with head phones on so nothing can disturb you and let yourself be immersed by these great Finns!