Emerging from an ancient haunted forest with their debut album, Felled entrances with blackened neofolk metal.
Eugene, Oregon is where Felled comes from. After releasing a demo in 2017, they follow up that early work with their first full-length album, The Intimate Earth. The band is Cavan Wagner (guitar and vocals), Brighid Wagner (strings and vocals), Isamu Sato (bass), and Jenn Grunigen (drums and vocals).
The musical style is folk metal, but Felled is unlike the usual band creating this sort of music. From their liberal use of violin and viola to the vocal varieties, the uniqueness of their music is profound.
The opening track is “Ember Dream,” and it begins with a solitary guitar joined in a beautiful melody by bow and string only to be ravaged by a croaking voice and threatening percussion and riffs – it has turned into a melodic black metal song, with a violin accompaniment. Unexpected and memorable.
The other four songs on the album are longer, running between seven and eleven minutes long and taking that time to expand on the ideas presented, exploring the subtleties. “Fire Season on the Outer Rim” listens like a play, with long moments of repose and beautiful voices appearing and disappearing among the recurring metal and journeying violin.
The song I remember most is “Sphagnum in the Hinterlands” for its slow and dooming passages that complement the lighter moments. The final song is “The Salt Binding,” and it is filled with sorrow and melancholy as well as forceful metal elements, finally resolving on a haunting whisper. What Felled is doing here is truly something to behold. Recommended.
The Intimate Earth is out today, July 2nd from Transcending Obscurity Records in a wide variety of formats and with accompanying merch.
Transcending Obscurity, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/