FALLS OF RAUROS (USA) – Key to a Vanishing Future, 2022 🇬🇧
Key to a Vanishing Future is yet another great work to add to the Portland project’s excellent harvest of tributes to human decadence and to that feeling of unease of living on a sick and dying planet. Evidently, if we take out of the equation the environmentalist component that always likes to drown in lakes of frustration and deep melancholy, we may find hopeful signs that minor or major forces end up doing some divine justice. FALLS OF RAUROS speak to us of that key to a vanishing future, but to delve into the pro-naturalist message that identifies this and other bands included in that strange and horrifying label called Cascadian metal, you have to read (and enjoy) the poetic and well-written lyrics written by the band.
Focusing on the musical side of things, FALLS OF RAUROS seem to have wanted to recover some of the more somber and wild sounds of past albums like Vigilance Perennial or, in other words, something less luminous than the immediately previous Patterns in Mythology. The truth is that Key to a Vanishing Future stands out on its own and we shouldn’t necessarily be making comparisons. While it is true that FALLS OF RAUROS usually have a styled line that they respect quite well, such as the transitions between purely black metal parts and quiet and acoustic passages, it should be noted that on this album they have opted to give more prominence to the bass and that makes Key To A Vanishing Future sound much more serious and to put it in a way, much more groove.
The guitar work continues to be the highlight. Really original, playful, and with more and more of a rock flavor, especially evident in the solos. At the same time, this is the band’s most direct and heavy album with quite atypical moments that are summed up in a song like «Known World Narrows«, which possibly sums up everything described above. Already from the fantastic opening with «Clarity» the album goes straight to the soul thanks to the band’s and Colin Marston‘s effort to produce the album with analog means which is what gives it that grain and that point of dirty honesty. Perhaps if there is something that can be missed, especially if you have followed the band’s discography, it is that there are not so many quiet parts, the songs are more compact and do not go so much on a rollercoaster. The most atmospheric part of Key to a Vanishing Future can be found in «Daggers in Floodlight«, which is undoubtedly one of the best compositions of the band in this field.
Key to a Vanishing Future is an album that will hardly disappoint the devotees of American atmospheric black metal, as it contains all the essential ingredients of it, with the added bonus of having experienced musicians who technically make an effort to be original, especially with the treatment of guitars and drums.
Translated by Irene López