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CD Feature/ Fear Falls Burning: "i'm one of those monsters numb with grace"

img  Tobias

With a little imagination, one could describe Fear Falls Burning’s pieces as „haiku drones“. There is a very strict outward form to them, yet within this framework, they are free to go wherever they please. They use minimal means to acchieve an enormous effect. There is a certain serenity and pureness about them, a slender beauty and air of sinister and seductive elegance. And finally, what is left unspoken is mostly more important than the notes which are played. So yes, in a sense it is true that “i’m one of those monsters numb with grace” is essentially the same music he has always been playing with only a few variations. But then again, within the Fear Falls Burning cosmos, these details make all the difference.

What matters most, probably, is that as Dirk Serries’ endeavour progresses, the less you actually see a man holding a guitar and fiddling with some knobs in your mind. Over the course of uncountable concerts, which have been minutely documented in a string of raw releases, Serries has developed the confidence to let go and allow the the music to play itself. There will, of course, be cynics claiming that there is nothing easier than to start with a theme and merely layer new, harmonically related ones on top of that. But as “monsters” prooves, it is the exact knowledge of what each of these layers “mean” that really matters. On the “A” side of this album, for example, which almost as a rule of thumb comes in a breathtaking packaging, on heavy Vinyl and inside a full-colour gateway cover with close-up shots of Dirk’s instrument, the music evolves around its own axis for many minutes, until Serries abruptly withdraws the main rhythmical element. Suddenly, the entire scene changes, with the remaining patterns gaining a grinding gravitational pull and floating like a dark murmer down the drain of certain condemnation. What started out as Fear Falls Burning’s most rocky piece, with a riff which could have opened a 90s grunge hit, takes an unsolicited turn solely by showing the existing material in a different light. On the “B” side, on the opposite, there is constant development: Loose ends drift in search of coherence, entangling and engaging in a collaborative hum. Beginning in a major-tinged mood of hope and expectation, minor sequences take the upper hand, first leading the music into the night, then propelling it into space and finally into a psychedelic frenzy.

There can be no doubt that the tracks feed from the duality between a dynamic live feeling and the care which comes from trying all sorts of different arrangements in the studio. “i’m one of those monsters numb with grace” is closer to the big introductory statement “he spoke in dead tongues” from two years ago than to the blues drone explosion of “the amplifier drone”. But it manages to sound just as fresh, just like good haikus can touch your heart despite their identical composition: Struck by silent hands/ Each element gains meaning/ As the player fades.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Fear Falls Burning
Homepage: Fear Falls Burning at MySpace
Homepage: Equation Records


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