Review: Faal – Abhorrence – Salvation

Review by: Meriel Longmore
Review score: 4/5

I first consciously became aware of Post-Rock influences in Black Metal through bands such as CAÏNA, (later) DEATHSPELL OMEGA and FEN. When I first started following Black Metal around a decade ago, the thought of combining two such genres would have seemed hugely unlikely, however, the combination is complimentary, beautifully atmospheric and enthralling. After discovering CAÏNA I became totally hooked on this approach to Black Metal and so FAAL was a mandatory purchase. Although FAAL do combine Black Metal and Post-Rock influences, there is also a strong element of dark, funeral Doom making them stand apart in terms of originality and innovation. There surely can’t be many bands around writing Funeral Doom that incorporates classically arranged Post-Rock structures!

It’s obvious from the onset that FAAL have put a great deal of work and careful contemplation into the four lengthy compositions that feature on “Abhorrence – Salvation”. As you would expect, the hard work has paid off, resulting in a highly accomplished and unusual album. The high level of quality is something which may generally be associated with Ván Records releases as the label never fails to deliver individual and often genre-defying music (for example; RUINS OF BEVERAST).

“Abhorrence – Salvation” brings to mind “Dark Metal” era BETHLEHEM, combined with the apocalyptic yet hopeful Post-Rock compositions of MOGWAI, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY or MONO, the dark sonic drone of BLACK BONED ANGEL, and the grandiose Classical ambience of GODSPEED YOU ! BLACK EMPEROR. There are also highlights present such as the sporadic appearance of moody piano pieces that add to the overall dualistic feeling of the album. FAAL tend to blend together seamlessly atmospheres that are at once aggressive, melancholic, desperate, whilst also strangely hopeful and bittersweet. Inspiration comes from the sort of negativity that is to be expected from a band with funereal interests so expect themes of loneliness, grief, solitude, decay, death, hopelessness and isolation. May appeal to fans of (early) KATATONIA, SKEPTICISM, DOOM:VS, AGALLOCH, (early) BETHLEHEM, REMEMBRANCE, BEYOND BLACK VOID, WIJLEN WIJ, UNTIL DEATH OVERTAKES ME, etc. Limited to 200 and exquisitely presented so well worth checking out while you still can!

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