dB Rating: 9/10
Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Label: Gilead Media
It’s been a long wait since False’s last record, which came out back in 2011. That record—also called Untitled (who do these guys think they are, Peter Gabriel?)—introduced listeners to the Minneapolis sextet’s very not-false sound. What’s impressive about the two-song debut was the way False incorporated tempo shifts, syncopation and keyboards into the traditional black metal rush. It doesn’t hurt that the femme fatale singer—who, like the rest of the band, is anonymous—has a coruscating vocal style that’s worth more than a tractor-trailer full of distortion pedals.
The main difference between 2011’s Untitled and 2015’s Untitled is that the latter—which, at five songs, more than doubles the number of False songs in print—is just a whole lot longer. Opener “Saturnalia” is a good example of False’s brand of dynamic USBM. The 10-minute song begins with a quick (minute-and-a-half) blast-blurt, followed by a section of Weakling-style palm-muted funkiness. After a return to the Wolves in the Throne Room-esque barrage of the intro, the band drops to a glacial pace at about three minutes in. These guys do doom so well (see also: the beginning of “Heavy as a Church Tower” on the Barghest split), you might wish for a whole tune of these slo-mo sonics.
But False ain’t going to give it to you. Around the seven-minute mark, the drummer doubles the rhythmic density and the band is soon back at blizzard-beat pacing. That’s the dominant mode on the speedy Untitled, which makes non-idiomatic digressions—the massed vocals on “The Deluge” and the Wagnerian wall of synths on “Hedgecraft”—that much more exciting. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Just don’t make us go through that again, OK, guys?
Review originally printed in the July 2015 issue (#129).