Thursday 29 August 2013

Twilight Fauna - Grief

As I touched on slightly with yesterday's review, black metal takes a lot from nature and the surroundings of the souls that produce it. Non more so than in the music of American one-man black metal band Twilight Fauna. Haling from the Appalachian mountain region of the US, Twilight Fauna channels the vastness of that mountain range into these five-tracks of ambient, depressive music. The sole member Ravenwood, says that the songs of Grief represent the five stages of the grieving process, so this will not be easy listening. Grief was released in March of this year through Ukrainian black/ambient label Depressive Illusions Records.


1. Isolation
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

Knowing the subject matter on Grief, I was expecting a very harrowing journey and that is what you get here. The fact that it is all the work of one individual makes it more harrowing. Isolation opens with droning guitars and strange, mixed low-pitch/high-pitch screams that sound like Ravenwood has been buried alive and is screaming for salvation. The depressive element is plain to hear thanks to the guitar, while the drums nestle deep in the background and the bass rumbles, creating a fuzz that hovers over the top. Grief was self-recorded as well, so it's raw nature really brings out the anguish in the song writing. The mid-section sees that depressive noise take a back seat in favour of introspective and calming acoustic guitar, which highlights a sensitive side to Ravenwood's songs. That section acts as a bridge almost, as soon after you've settled down, the droning begins again. It features more ambience this time though and slowly lurches it's way to an inevitable end.

That feeling of claustrophobia becomes more prevalent during the minimal Anger. The quiet acoustic guitar and occasional riffs mixed with those growls/screams present an almost peaceful backdrop. Featuring a very different sound to the opener but psychologically just as absorbing. Bargaining continues with the same minimal vibe and it's here that you get a sense of how proficient Ravenwood is as a musician. The melodies created by the acoustic guitar are really embracing. This is a longer, more swirling track than Anger. It's that guitar for me, which sets Twilight Fauna part from its peers. It shows that amongst such a populated genre, creativity is still rife.

Depression builds first with a single plucked note played over and over again, then punctuated by a single doom-like riff. As with previous songs, it features an extended instrumental build up and sparse, distant screams. It really does make you think that the record was recorded at the top of a mountain; such is the isolation felt within the songs. Ravenwood does not believe in speeding through his songs and as a result, you get drawn into the kind of emotions and thoughts that he possesses. Closing song Acceptance is where the light begins to shine through the record. Gone are the maddening screams and in there place are softly song, soulful melodies. It's not a reward for you as a listener, more a musical interpretation of the last ray of light you see before passing. It's the most ambient tracks release on Grief and in being so, is also the most heart wrenching.

The lack of outside influence and the creative vision of Ravenwood are engaging.Grief is not an easy listen but if you persevere, it can be beautiful and fulfilling.

You can stream Grief in it's entirety here:-

Via the same page, you can purchase Grief as a name-your-price digital download or as a special edition CD.

It's also available from Depressive Illusions Records here -

Twilight Faun Facebook -

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