Great Falls deliver a colossal, soul-wrenching opus with A Sense of Rest.
With their discordant guitars, rhythmic complexity and intense vocal performances, Great Falls craft a potent soundtrack for the feelings of despair and disquiet. With former members of Kiss It Goodbye and Playing Enemy at the helm, listeners should expect nothing short of noise metal supremacy.
A burst of bulldozing metallic noise brings the record to life on “The Accelerationist” and transitions into groaning, malformed instrumentation. The angular guitar riffs bite with noisy hardcore fierceness and lurch with doom-like sensibilities, all while a tumultuous rhythm section of bludgeoning bass lines and throttling drum work match the intensity of the six-stringed squall above. The song gradually becomes slower and more suffocating as it reaches its final moments, continually pushed into more abrasive directions with the aid of Demian Johnston’s tortured, throat-shredding yell. With this track A Sense of Rest is off to an unforgiving start and only continues to drag listeners into chaos as it progresses.
“Not-For-Sale Bodies” opens up with a brief melodic guitar line that explodes into an array of dissonant, bellowing riffs that stomp and slide within jagged rhythms and writhe atop some very frantic drumming. Much like its predecessor, “The Accelerationist”, the song’s opening maelstrom of nauseating riffs and grotesque tones transitions effortlessly into slower-paced, off-kilter sludge bits, and eventually reaches a truly seismic climax. The song bleeds into the album’s third track, “Kettle Logic”, which rips listeners apart with its corrosive dissonance, obtuse hardcore instrumentation, and off-kilter sense of groove. It’s a cacophonous, sinister-sounding track that proves to be one of the record’s most overtly vicious cuts.
Some of the more standout tracks include the fifth track, “Thousands Every Hour”. The song opens up with over 60 seconds of amplifier abuse before unleashing a slew of disorienting, stop-and-start, disfigured doom riffs. The use of sprawling, atonal riffs and spacing hark back to moments on Playing Enemy‘s Cesarean and eventually the song becomes a barrage of abstract guitar parts and battery acid-soaked noise near its end. “I Go to Glory” is also worth noting for its caustic aggression and ugly, bizarre riff and rhythmic shapes that will no doubt bring From Wisdom to Hate-era Gorguts to mind, albeit in a less death metal context.
The album’s nearly 15-minute centerpiece, “We Speak in Lowercase”, is arguably the record’s most awe-inspiring moment. In an attempt to combine all aspects of the record into one, “We Speak in Lowercase” drags listeners’ down a painful path of slow-burning doom, dreary melodies, and complete noisy annihilation. Despite its length, Great Falls utilize repetition rather sparingly, choosing instead to craft a massive opus that is ever-flowing and devoid of monotony or drag.
Great Falls‘ A Sense of Rest will rip listeners in half and crush the remains into bits. This doomed, anxiety-ridden tour de force proves to be the band’s finest achievement to date.
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Label: Corpse Flower Records/Throatruiner Records
Favorite Tracks: “Not-For-Sale Bodies”, “We Speak in Lowercase”, “Thousands Every Hour” and “I Go to Glory”
For Fans of: Playing Enemy, KEN mode and KNUT.