"This Island, Our Funeral"

By Dr. Abner Mality

The sharp light of dawn rises crisply over the loch, peeking through the mountains and hills. The mist that covers the still waters slowly begins to retreat as the sun makes its presence known. Frost is in the air and all is still.

This is the kind of imagery that the music of Scotland's Falloch evokes. One look at the misty, mystic cover of "This Island, Our Funeral" gives you a visual idea of what they are trying to create sonically. Their slow, elegant tunes can barely be described as heavy metal, but more like a moody electric ambience. It is not music for banging heads or kicking shins in the pit. It's something to put on and drift away to a different place and time. Not exactly the typical thing I listen to, but for what it is, it is very effective indeed.

"Torradh" is the most overly heavy song, with scraping electric guitar and pounding drums. But still there;s no real aggression to it. It sounds Scottish to the core or like something that comes from the Orkney or Shetland Isles. Like most tunes here, it runs long and has plenty of atmospheric breaks. Expect no black metal rasps...the vocalist to me sounds like a plaintive version of young Bono. The record meanders placidly through the rugged landscape like an old river. The last two songs, "I Shall Build Mountains" and "Sanctuary" are the longest.

Not much of a metal album, this could more rightfully be described as folky post-metal with an ancient feel. If that's what you're looking for, you won't find much better.