Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Thursday, 28 January 2016

FALL OF EFRAFA

GenresPunk / Crust / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Doom / Ambient / Sludge
Related artistsLight Bearer, Archivist, Carnist, Momentum, Farewell To ArmsBlackstorm and Anopheli.
CountryBrighton UNITED KINGDOM
Years Active2005-2009
Song: "The Warren of Snares"
Album: "Inlé"
Year: 2009
For fans ofLight Bearer, Amber, Tephra, Avvika, Monuments Collapse, Momentum, Tel Fyr, Neurosis, (later) Back When, Protestant, Kraken, Northless, AmenRa, Buried Inside, Titan, Trainwreck, Isis, Perth Express, AlaskanNionde Plågan and Downfall Of Gaia.
Label(s): Self Released / Halo Of Flies / Denovali Records / Alerta Antifaschista / Tadpole Records / Sound Devastation Records / Behind The Scenes / Be-Part Records / Contraszt! Records / Laboratorio 12 / Sadness Of Noise / Fight For Your Mind / Symphony Of Destruction / Deskontento Records
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #11.
You can download: the January Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2016 Mix#2 here.

For the longest time when I saw the word "crust" I cringed. After hearing FALL OF EFRAFA I realized crust wasn't exactly what I thought it meant. I always thought it was dirty, shitty and simplistic music like The Exploited. Boy was I glad to be proven wrong. I came to the conclusion that a lot of the post-hardcore/post-metal bands that I liked drew influences from crust and spit them out in a newly evolved form - I'm thinking of bands like Isis, Buried Inside and Jungbluth but I know there's a ton more. I've really only jammed the primary three albums so those will be the ones discussed.

The band's early material was quite good, but something didn't quite grab me. On 'Owlsa' the songs are much shorter in length, with most hovering around the five minute mark and the longest being "Last But Not Least" at 10:41 which is also the best song as it is much more reminiscent of the band's later work aka slow, building and epic crust/post-metal. The closer "The Fall of Efrafa" isn't too far off from the previous track and is another massive, swelling beast. The first half of the album is generally faster with more emphasis on hardcore than metal.

'Elil' takes "Last But Not Least" and expands on that very successful formula, which was released the following year (2007) and the three tracks take up over an hour's worth of time! Each song is at least 20 minutes long and is like listening to the audio equivalent of the rise and fall of a civilization. At this point it's probably worth mentioning that the entire lyrical theme and content are the story of Watership Down, which is very, very cool. All of the FALL OF EFRAFA artwork is minimal but fucking awesome which is another reason that the much sought after 'Box Set' sells for crazy prices online. Back to 'Elil', the first song "Beyond the Veil" has a beautiful yet haunting intro that almost surpasses the 7-minute mark before the nearly 5-minute long ascent towards the climax which occurs around 16-17 minutes and is preceded by a cool acoustic ambient part. Next up is "Dominion Theology" which gets into the thick of it after only a minute of intro. If it's time for band comparisons, I'm fucking ready. Buried Inside. Protestant, Light Bearer (same vocalist, I know) but with longer songs and much more focus on sustaining long, powerful rhythms. "For el Ahrairah to Cry" is the final song on this 2x12" and it is the heaviest and darkest of them all. The opening sounds like massive statues crumbling on top of city hall. The slow chords, the lingering of notes, the audio clips, they're all encased in a swirling bubble of darkness and chaos, and it's amazing.

After jamming 'Inlé' while on the subway in South Korea I was floored. This record is like the previous outing but much more precise and permeating. The instrumental intro of "Simulacrum" is a testament to this. "Fu Inle" glides in after the instrumental opener and is 10:30 of solid, engaging and destructive crust/post-hardcore/post-metal. Every time they insert that rise or fall of just one note - holy fuck it's revolt inducing. The sludgy but melodic mass moves along slowly but never loses momentum. "Republic of Heaven" and it is amazing and sounds very similar to the stuff Buried Inside was doing in 2009 with 'Spoils of Failure'. "The Warren of Snares" is my final pick and quite possibly the strongest on the album. The entrancing subdued squeals on guitar open the song and lead into the slow chugs and heavy yell/scream/growl - actually the vocals are none of those three, they simply take elements from each but don't sound like any one in particular. Anyhoos, the rising and falling of numerous climaxes over 17:24 will leave you spent and in need of a nap. As great as this album is I don't know if I like it as much as 'Elil' but it damn near comes close. Every song is really good and I haven't even mentioned "The Burial" and "Woundwort" (well, now I have) so be sure to check this out if you haven't already.

I may not listen to much that is very similar to FALL OF EFRAFA, but I enjoy listening these fellas because they were both awesome and influential. Generally when I see anyone posting about the band it's all gushing you know they must be good.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2006 - Demo digitalEP
2006 - Owlsa cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)

2007 - Elil cd/2x12"LP (stream/buy here)
2007 - Down To Agony split 12"EP (stream/buy here)

2008 - Tharn cd/12"EP

2009 - Inlé cd/2x12"LP (stream/buy here)
2009 - The Burial 12"EP

2010 - The Road dvd

2012 - The Warren of Snares 6x12"LP box set
2012 - 4-way split w/Thou, Masakari & Lycanthropy 8"EP

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(2009) THE FALL OF EFRAFA - "The Warren of Snares" (from 'Inlé')

(2007) THE FALL OF EFRAFA - "For el Ahrairah to Cry (cut version)" (from 'Elil')

(2007) THE FALL OF EFRAFA - "No Longer Human" (from 'Down To Agony' split)

(2006) THE FALL OF EFRAFA - "Last But Not Least" (from 'Owlsa')

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