October Falls - Syys
Purity Through Fire
8 songs (32'35")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex

I have to say I was very excited, maybe overly, to hear the next October Falls album. My first experience with the band was The Streams of the End EP, and then A Collapse of Faith full-length. Impressed and smitten by the band’s atmospheric black metal style, weaving together mid-era Ulver, Opeth and ambient folk, I have missed Mikko Lehto’s creations past A Collapse of Faith, which I regretted. (There is just so much good music going around). Yet I was happy that October Falls continued to build their name and reputation. Recent signing with Purity Through Fire can elevate October Falls profile further, but having listened to Syys right now for a few days I am somewhat taken aback and not quite sure this is what the otherwise pretty intense black metal hosting label expected.

The giveaway should have been the logo, yet I missed it. When October Falls uses a square logo, things usually go neofolk. And Syys has that square staring at you, front and center, in the midst of beautiful vibrant fall foliage. So when the album started playing I should have never expected the music to go brisk and shift to metal. Syys is ambient neofolk through and through. As opposed to the earlier October Falls folk albums though, acoustic guitar, not piano or flute, is the major player. Note strumming and sound clarity are exquisite, but the melodies in Syys are not travelling far or extensively. The sound is lovely, lush and layered polyphony, but everything seems to be moving around a very narrow concentric circle without venturing far and wide. It is if you are on the walk through a gorgeous leafy forest, and you found one attractive spot, and thus decided not to progress any further, but instead investigate the lines of every single tree, bush or plant in the aforementioned spot. So, as the result, I love the sound, and listen to the notes October Falls generates one at a time, but my mind never takes flight to be fully captivated. And my car player is my witness I tried. For almost the whole week. But time and again, Syys shifted to be a pleasant background, and I caught myself thinking about anything but the music at hand. Perhaps that was the intent? I don’t know, but I wished more grandeur, more melodies traveling to final destinations, and less monotony. Someday I may plug Syys in again, and it will hit me, but it didn’t happen last week.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 50 / 100
Other albums by October Falls that we have reviewed:
October Falls - A Collapse of Faith reviewed by Alex and quoted 83 / 100
October Falls - The Womb Of Primordial Nature reviewed by James and quoted 79 / 100
October Falls - The Streams of the End reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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