Sunday, 19 May 2013

Fell Voices - Regnum Saturni 2LP


There's always been two black metal bands that I've wanted to feature on This Noise Is Ours. One was Ash Borer and the other was Fell Voices. The reason behind this was not about ego and bragging rites (because I've got no time for ego's) but out of complete fandom. Over the last few years I've been listening to more and more black metal and I've always read about these two bands and I've admired the way they carry themselves and don't follow the press darlings of the scene, down the sideshow path. I got the chance a while ago to feature Ash Borer, which was a huge honour and now Fell Voices follow. This is their new three-track double LP which is due to be released on vinyl by US label Gilead Media and Antithetic Records.

Tracklist:-

1. Flesh From Bone
2. Emergence
3. Dawn

Fell Voices present themselves in a very similar way to that of the aforementioned Ash Borer. They don't fill Regnum Saturni with countless tracks with the same sound, instead they put forward three of varying lengths.  Opener Flesh From Bone starts with a pulsing/droning ambience, intertwined with spoken word samples. This intro rings out for just over two minutes, at which point you’re greeted with feedback and harsher almost white noise. Their black metal seems to be very minimal; the vocals nestle in the background underneath the guitars. The drums also sit back, apart from the occasional cymbal crash. It's very atmospheric actually, with subtle melody hiding amongst the continual almost marshal ambience. It finishes the way it started, with more of that pulsing ambience.

Fell Voices drummer/vocalist has in the past been a live member of Ash Borer, so there are some, although not intended, similarities between the two bands. That and the fact they both shared a very well received split record, which was when they came to my attention.

Emergence starts off in the same manner, except the ambiance is quieter this time. It's volume does increase slowly though, reaching an almost maddening volume and forcing you into a trance as it goes. One thing that gets me with Fell Voices is their ability to play such anti-music without it sounding horrendous. I'm not being disrespectful by calling it anti-music but it's going to take a special kind of person to listen to Regnum Saturni in full. Most people will either be too scared or too weak. For me, what makes them so captivating is that apparent lack of melody, which as you listen, disappears to reveal melody. The fact that the vocals are so distant adds a sense of humility and a feeling of down to earth-ness.

It can at times get truly hypnotic and just when you think you are about depart, the vocals kick in and jolt you from your daze. The anguished cries make Mike sound as though he's being tortured. God knows how he can scream like that and play drums! The closing bars of the song consist of just the droning noise and those screams. A haunting end indeed!

By the time Dawn roles into view, you're pretty much frozen to the spot. Even when more melody and guitar is used amongst the initial noise, it's meant to disarm and unnerve you. With such long, drawn out songs, you'd think the music would become stale but it doesn't, such is the captivating aura that surrounds the band. How a trio can make this much noise, I'll never know!

While there are subtle similarities between Fell Voice and noise acts like Sutekh Hexen and Gnaw Their Tongues, Fell Voices are so much more engaging. They sit in the black metal arena but put forward a compelling case for the scrapping of genre convention. I can't see Fell Voices remaining the preserve of those in the know for much longer. They're on a cosmic path that will take them to greater heights.

Now, too wet you're appetites before the album drops in June, you can listen to second tracks Emergence below:-


Go to the following stores for pre-orders:-

Gilead Media - http://www.gileadmedia.net/store/
Antithetic Records - http://www.antitheticrecords.com/shop/

Fell Voices official blog - http://fellvoices.blogspot.co.uk/
Fell Voices Facebook page (Fan page) - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fell-Voices

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