Viking's Choice

FALSE: Take A Breath, Then Scream

Everything you know about this band is FALSE. i i

Everything you know about this band is FALSE. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
Everything you know about this band is FALSE.

Everything you know about this band is FALSE.

Courtesy of the artist

When a record has only two tracks, it's hard not to talk about one without the other. The unnamed members of the Minneapolis black metal band FALSE have created a tirelessly raging yet heartfelt debut, Untitled, that merits more than a few words and a premiere. But we've got that, too, in this stream of the side-long B-side, "Sleepmaker," plus a Bandcamp stream of the A-side, "The Key of Passive Suffering," which I've embedded below.

Song Premiere: FALSE, 'Sleepmaker'

Cover for Untitled

Sleepmaker

  • Artist: FALSE
  • Album: Untitled

Untitled is available from Gilead Media.

Sometimes the first few seconds can say everything that needs to be said of an album. For example, Aura Noir makes it pretty damn clear within the first two seconds that its Hades Rise (2008) is gonna be a wild, hell-raisin' ride, as if the title weren't indication enough. In 1995, Deadguy wasted no time barreling straight out of the gate with the chaotic riff and gunshot snare of Fixation on a Coworker. Now I can add FALSE's Untitled to the list of record openings that will always stick with me. Literally less than a second after the drummer builds on the toms, the vocalist takes an audibly deep, seething breath and unleashes a vicious howl like an ancient, ravenous beast thawed from slumber.

"The Key of Passive Suffering" is a ferocious 12 minutes of black metal amped on a crust-punk drive that seemingly gets faster the more urgent the track becomes. It reminds me of the recently broken-up Ludicra — gritty and raw yet full of tight musicianship — but FALSE is far too punk for a direct comparison. And could you ever hear Ludicra employing Emperor-like fantasy synths and getting away with it? Somehow, FALSE does.

But for my money, "Sleepmaker" is the stronger statement as a whole. The adjectives "intense" and "relentless" have been used a lot for this band elsewhere (including Thou's Bryan Funck, who was blown away by a performance and is co-releasing Untitled on his label Howling Mine), but just the same, FALSE is an emotional torrent. After a five-minute blasting hurl, a guitar duet imagines a somber and distorted frontier, taking on a vaguely Baroque figure and light piano touches. The temporary respite from hatred recalls the classical motifs used by Weakling, but FALSE comes back harder, with stronger purpose, through double guitar leads that pound the spine and crushing, heart-chilling screams. Now if only I could recover.

Untitled comes out Aug. 9 on Gilead Media and Howling Mine.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.