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Fall Of Efrafa - Owsla CD (album) cover


Fall Of Efrafa


Experimental/Post Metal

4.03 | 13 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars FALL OF EFRAFA formed in Brighton, England in 2005 with the clear intent of releasing a trilogy of albums that revolved around the mythology of the 1972 Richard Adams novel "Watership Down" and then disbanding and that's exactly what this band of Neil Kingsbury (guitar), Steven McCusker (guitar), Mikey Douglas (bass), George Miles (drums) and Alex CF (vocals) did. The term EFRAFA in the novel refers to a rabbit colony ruled by a dictator who oppresses the rebellion through law enforcement which are called the OWSLA (means warrior or defender), which is also the title of the first album of the trilogy followed by "Elil" and Inlé." These titles come form the Lapine language used in the novel. Yep, this is some serious nerding out going on here!

In the big scheme of the vast music universe, FALL OF EFRAFA is quite unique in its approach having primarily taken its influences from post-metal bands like Neurosis and Agalloch, post-rock bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and heavy caustic post-hardcore and crust punk thus making a bizarre blend of stylistic shifts from atmospheric arpeggiated post-rock segments to bleak bombastic crust punk swells teased out into atmospheric sludge metal orotundity. The vocal style of Alex CF is also unique in that if falls somewhere between the extreme shouting style of Neurosis frontman Scott Kelly and the more angry crust punk sort of shouts that often struggles to emerge from the bombastic guitar, bass and drum angst. A cello accompanies to add a sense of impending dread.

These albums narrate elaborate tales with OWSLA recounting a despotic leader who gives his people a false sense of empowerment to that he can swoop in at the last minute and crush them. OWSLA begins the trilogy by outlining the tale of an unarmed society that clings to dated beliefs and remains paralyzed by the inability to overcome these stilted anachronisms. The following "Elil" continues by narrating how those very beliefs result in an oppressive reign of religious indoctrination thus showcasing the band's staunch atheism. The final chapter "Inlé" deals with hope in the face of death and how a society that has clung on to certain values for eons must overcome the rigidness as they face a do or die situation.

With chamber folk and crust punk elements crafting a greater sum of the parts, FALL OF EFRAFA crafts a unique sounding album that takes disparate musical elements and casts a unique magical spell as it tackles deep psychology that has permeated humankind since the beginning of time. While hilariously set in the context of a warren of rabbits, the subject matter hits close to home and paints the bleak picture of human mind control carried out through conditioning and religious doctrines. OWSLA is a satisfying slice of post-rockand atmospheric sludge metal with elements of crust punk and highly recommended especially for those who love elaborate storylines that allude to the plight of homo sapiens however this is certainly an all or nothing affair and once you check out one album you are pretty much committed to explore the whole trilogy which was released as a whole unit in 2010 with "The Warren of Snares" boxset.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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