Wednesday 29 October 2014

Twilight Fauna - Hymns Of A Forgotten Homeland

A lot of people write about music on the Internet, I know that. There are more and more blogs popping up and people writing because they have a platform. It's a good thing for bands, but bands, they can inherently lazy. This reminds of a thread on good old Facebook recently about bands not taking up opportunities for exposure. It pretty much boiled down to the fact that they expect everything to come to them and not the other way around. People were commenting about seeing and hearing less up and coming or unknown bands and their music, while on the flipside, I mentioned that I was seeing more and more bands approaching me (not blowing my own trumpet) looking for attention and exposure. While, I don't consider myself to be a pro writer, I do this because I enjoy and as a way to give something back to the genre that I enjoy and the bands that take the time to produce music.

You may ask what that previous, slightly long paragraph has to do with this review. Well, Twilight Fauna and it's sole protagonist Ravenwood is exactly the kind of band I was talking about when I commented about new bands contacting me off their own back. Ravenwood is used to the DIY approach, I mean you have to be when you're the sole contributor. Earlier this year, Twilight Fauna's fourth full-length was released via Fragile Branch, which is a pretty big deal I think. To think that Ravenwood has only been releasing music as Twilight Fauna since 2012, things are really moving forward.


1. Coming Home (A Wilted Harvest)
2. Baying In The Hills
3. An Autumn Longing
4. Roots Stained By Time
5. The Wind Chimes Through The Trees
6.  Of River Willow

Twilight Fauna has always been very much influenced by it’s surroundings and American culture. You get that feeling instantly with album opener Coming Home (A Wilted Harvest). It’s minimal, with a mix of acoustic guitar and bass sitting on top of distant screams that sound like chants. Previously. I reviewed TF’s 2013 full-length Grief and it felt more instant and more brash almost. Baying In The Hills and the whole album for that matter, sounds very different. There’s a calmer and more focused feel to everything, almost a sense of accomplishment on Ravenwood’s part. Most people are used to black metal being loud and raw but it’s not all about that here. Twilight Fauna seems to have transcended that and moved on. with Ravenwood’s influence taking more of a controlling seat.

An Autumn Longing is dripping with acoustic guitar and lowly vocal melodies. It’s really laid back in fact and moves Twilight Fauna further away from the black metal roots of the band. It’s a bit of jolt when the initial riffs of Roots Stained By Time ring out. This is the longest offering on Hymns… and still carries the same laid-back approach as the songs it’s followed. This is where TF mixes the black metal of old with the more reflective textures that have found home on the album. The Wind Chimes Through The Trees is a beautifully piece of music. By now, you’ll stop expecting TF to break out into full, crunching BM and will be well and truly wrapped up in Ravenwood’s interpretations of the Appalachian countryside that surrounds him. It’s almost like being there at times. You feel the atmosphere through every note and sound.

On album closer Of River Willows, there’s a gruff melody in the vocals and that melody follows through the whole song. Again, as mentioned before, it’s not what you expect and I think it’s all the better for it. Metal’s many sub-genres need progressions and experimentation and black metal is no different. Here, Twilight Fauna has created a record full of emotion and genuine inspiration. One that, without being elitist or obtuse, gives the listener something that they’ve perhaps been missing.

Stream Hymns Of A Forgotten Homeland here:-

You can purchase it digitally from Twilight Fauna's bandcamp page above; however, it's best listened to on the analog warmth of vinyl. That's why Fragile Branch released it that way and you can buy a copy here -

Twilight Fauna Facebook -
Fragile Branch Facebook -

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