Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fuath - I

By Hera Vidal. There have been moments when you inherently don’t believe that a musician has more music in him than what he is currently making, so when they announce that there is a new project in line, you have to assume that it sounds a lot like their main band.
By Hera Vidal

Artwork by Luciana Nedelea

There have been moments when you inherently don’t believe that a musician has more music in him than what he is currently making, so when they announce that there is a new project in line, you have to assume that it sounds a lot like their main band. However, that’s when you get proven wrong and you have to reconcile how two entirely different things came from the same person.

It’s early in the year but you’ve set the bar high for black metal in 2016. I’m a big fan of Saor as well and this is an equally great album despite being much colder and darker. How long have you wanted to make this type of album?

Thanks. I’ve been wanting to make an album like this for years but I’ve usually focused on more folk-inspired stuff over the years. Every winter I dig out my black metal CD’s and get inspired to write something darker and colder


Atmospheric black metal is what I consider to be a big hit-or-miss. When done correctly, it can transcend the listener away from their reality, leading them to just appreciate the music, regardless of the lyrics. However, if done incorrectly, you get a mess of lyrics and music that just doesn’t seem to work at all. It doesn’t distract you from anything, and you listen to it, hoping that you can find something else. There is another problem one has to consider, and it’s that atmospheric black metal can get boring rather quickly. There are so many repetitive aspects to it that, in the end, you can start counting how many beats it takes to get to the next cymbal strike. In short, lack of reconciling lyrics and music and repetitiveness can kill an album.

However, this album, although on the repetitive side, can definitely stand on its own, especially when speaking of its creator. Fuath is the side project of Andy Marshall, the man behind the Celtic-sounding black metal band, Saor. If you have not heard Saor’s music, then listen to me when I say that Fuath sounds nothing like Saor. Fuath is colder, darker, and it sounds like black metal, down to the blast beats and the aggressive drumming. However, comparing both projects does not do each other justice, so we will focus on Fuath from this point onward.

I is the project’s debut album, and it reminds me of old-school black metal, with a modern twist. The most striking thing about this album, outside of how short it is—it’s four tracks long—is how dark and cold it sounds, and it doesn’t hold anything back. Everything about this album is asking the listener to forget everything, and just listen to the music. This is an album that must be enjoyed by yourself, and you have to zone out in order to take it all in. Ironically enough, “fuath” is Gaelic for “hatred”, which is a story in it of itself. This album is meant to be listened to in the winter; it evokes snow and darkness. Looking at the cover art also seems to evoke that image. However, what evokes that hatred is the contempt for other people, for love, for humanity. You have to be by yourself to fully immerse into the atmosphere the album creates, which means you have to dissociate in order to appreciate it. By the end of it, you are so into it that you forget that the album stopped, and you have to replay it in order to appreciate it once more.

All in all, this album shows promise to further expand its tonalities. It’s dark, heavy, and there is something quite romantic in what it evokes. It definitely stands on its own and creates an atmosphere that doesn’t shatter when the tracks change. Just sit back, relax, and get ready to enjoy an album that brings everything to the table.

Prominent tracks: “The Oracle”, “Spirit of the North”

Tagged with 2016, atmospheric black metal, Fuath, Hera Vidal
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