Falaise – Embrace the EndlessTuesday, 12th September 2017
Last year, Italian black metal combo Falaise dropped in rather unexpectedly with its marvelous, sweeping As Time Goes By debut. Originally self-released in 2015, the Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum label saw fit to give it proper worldwide treatment, in turn, exceeding the band’s most humble of expectations. It properly set the stage for their sophomore My Endless Immensity, another rather poignant stab at morose black metal, done up this time, with new elements like post-rock and shoe-gaze. And while some may deem post-black metal to be an acquired taste, it’s difficult to argue with Falaise’s flair for the dramatic…or despondent. Wanting to get the scoop on the reaction to As Time Goes By and the making of My Endless Immensity, we shuttled some Q’s off to guitarist/bassist Lorenzo Pompili…
Dead Rhetoric: As Time Goes By was quite the success. Do you think it accelerated the development of the band?
Lorenzo Pompili: Yes, we received good responses for the album, more than we expected when we started recording it and this definitely motivated us to make more. It was our debut album and we believe we grew a lot since then. We improved the recording and mixing quality of the music and what concerns the structure of the songs. We think we have now a more focused sound and we feel the way we express ourselves is more original.
Dead Rhetoric: Your debut also placed Falaise right into the “depressive black metal” ranks. Are you comfortable being labeled as such?
Pompili: We don’t like labels too much, but the “depressive“ tag is probably appropriate, especially in relation to our lyrics, [which are] focused on the dark and nihilistic side of the human emotions. Even if we are deeply influenced by some of the most important depressive black metal bands, we don’t think however to be too similar to that kind of sounds, we try to do a more dynamic and melodic version of black metal, more similar to the “post-black” or “blackgaze” bands sound-wise. Our first goal when we start writing a new song is to create a melody that can impress the listener and go straight to his heart.
Dead Rhetoric: Was there any pressure when writing My Endless Immensity? Or, are you good at blocking things out?
Pompili: There wasn’t any kind of pressure when writing and recording the album, we didn’t have any strict deadline and we used all the time we needed to make something that we were satisfied with. We especially made an effort in not repeating most of the mistakes we now believe we made on our debut album, which was definitely more rushed and in experimenting different recording techniques to have a more personal sound. We probably could have released the album earlier, but we feel being more thorough was the right choice.
Dead Rhetoric: The new songs feel more progressive, even a step away from the songs on As Time Goes By. What was your songwriting approach this time out?
Pompili: Our songwriting approach is very straightforward and it didn’t actually change a lot from our debut album. However we didn’t want to repeat ourselves, and with this new album we tried to integrate different influences from post-rock, post-punk and the traditional atmospheric black metal in a more personal way, trying to avoid the solutions we used in our debut that we feel were not original enough. We also think our songs are now more cohesive than before, we tried to create deeper connections between them, and this is something that maybe lacked on our first work.
Dead Rhetoric: How much of an influence does post or indie rock have on the album?
Pompili: We are deeply influenced by a great variety of genres outside of metal, post-rock and shoegaze are probably the most evident, but also post-punk, emo or even classical music. We believe these influences have a more prominent role in this album than in its predecessor, and we feel that the way we incorporate them in our music is what characterizes our personal version of black metal, it gives us a bigger palette to represent our feelings in a more original and detailed way.
Dead Rhetoric: A song like “Crimson Clouds” is a great example of your development. What’s the story behind this song?
Pompili: “Crimson Clouds” is a short song but very melodic and bright, it’s like an interlude that separates the previous songs, more shiny, from the following song “Dreariness” that has a more harsh sound, violent and it is the most “depressive black metal” style song of the album, we think.
Dead Rhetoric: What does the title My Endless Immensity represent?
Pompili: This title is a reference to the most powerful emotions we feel in certain situations, in particular, the most melancholic and tragic side of them, so overwhelming and ineffable that we can’t really describe them with words, but only with music. It represents the extraordinary capacity of human beings to feel this immensity of sensations that sometimes enable us to escape from the cage that our body can be, and from this material, contingent world.
Dead Rhetoric: What prompted you to cover an Amesoeurs song (“Les ruches malades”)?
Pompili: There aren’t very deep reasons behind it, we had never recorded a cover before and we thought it could have been an interesting experiment to do one. We choose an Amesoeurs song since we are big fans of them, and we feel the mood of the song is similar to what we want to express ourselves, however their sound is quite different from ours, and this allowed us to make something which felt more personal, and not just a copy. Since we liked how it turned out we decided to include it on our album, as an homage to one of our biggest influences in our musical journey.
Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s next for the band in 2017 and beyond?
Pompili: We don’t have any long-term plans at the moment, but we’ll definitely keep making our music as we have done in these years. For 2017, we’ll continue to work on our third album; we’re already at a good point with the compositions and have started to experiment with some different sounds. You can expect more detailed news in the next months.