Today’s a boring Wednesday evening in the midst of a pandemic. Since I had nothing to do, I thought… well, why not go through my ever-long list of albums that I should give a spin because they’re from bands that truly deserve the publicity. I have reviewed a couple of albums today, listened to quite a few albums, and none of them spoke to me as much as SLOW FALL‘s debut effort, “Beneath the Endless Rains,” released on October 23rd, 2020, via Inverse Records. Let me start off by introducing this fine band to you: founded by bassist and songwriter Markku Kerosalo in 2016, SNOW FALL is a melodic death metal band that originally focused on a melodic doom metal sound, but ever since the release of their first EP, have progressed a lot. The result is “Beneath the Endless Rains.”
A strumming acoustic guitar in “Resonance” serves as a mellow, atmospheric intro to open up the album. The mood is instantly set and a the hauntingly beautiful melody is a fine example of Finnish melancholy at its best. The song progresses into a metal track with synth soundscapes, only to fade out and transition into the heavy “Across the Cold.” With crushing riffs, entrancing melodies, and a powerful chorus that pierces through your soul, this first track is already a job well done and we’re only a mere 3 minutes into the album. In stark contrast, “Exile Day” shows a more emotional side of the band, starting off more mellow and then progressing into a heavier song, this track also infuses some subtle progressive metal elements reminiscent of AMORPHIS.
“Under the Corroded Sky” continues in a grim way, balancing between extremities, lamenting vocals, great rhythmic guitar work, and a lot of layered beauty; another nice surprise. Blackened growls predict an ominous atmosphere in “Witnesses to the Fall of Night” and there you go, the band goes full blast beat modus and shows a very different side of their sound. While the screeching quickly changed up to deep growls again, the rest of the instruments follow this black metal-infused pattern without losing their identity, providing a nice change in pattern in this record.
Title track “Drown (Beneath the Endless Rains)” at first show hints of that doom metal character the band initially explored with their debut EP, but then continue with very rhythmic guitar riffs with almost robotic precision to it, switching up with calmer, atmospheric, melancholic sections with clean vocals and acoustic guitar. “When the Suns Collide” has a bit more of a hopeful note in the guitar melodies and perhaps the catchiest vocals on this record. The penultimate track, “Tomorrow is a Buried Hope” has an incredibly groovy bass line, apparent at the beginning of the song and the grand finale of this album, “Everything Left With Nothing” is the most anthemic track on this album, starting off with simple guitar strumming, the track progresses in a true epic, a rollercoaster of emotions.
Arguably, yes, Finland has a lot of melodic death metal bands and most of these newer ones are inspired by juggernauts like INSOMNIUM; however, there’s something about this album that makes them stand out from these smaller acts quite a lot. Maybe it’s the fact that this album is incredibly consistent and masterfully written, especially for a debut effort. There are sometimes quite progressive elements to their music, specifically matching different soundscapes and combining them effortlessly. As I mentioned before, it’s been quite a boring Wednesday, another day of the pandemic routine we all have been living in since 2020, yet discovering this band made this Wednesday definitely worth the while and memorable. Hopefully, this band keeps on producing good music, because believe me, we will definitely hear from these guys in the future.
- Across The Cold
- Exile The Day
- Under This Corroded Sky
- Witnesses To The Fall Of Night
- Drown (Beneath The Endless Rains)
- When The Suns Collide
- Tomorrow Is A Buried Hope
- Everything Left With Nothing
Markus Taipale – Vocals
Heikki Kakko – Guitars
Juho Viinikanoja – Guitars
Markku Kerosalo – Bass/Keyboards
Aki Pusa – Drums