Fellahin Fall – Urbana (Self-Released)Wednesday, 22nd November 2023
One of the biggest underrated gems of the gloomy gothic/doom scene, and no strangers to this site, are that of NY’s Fellahin Fall. Establishing themselves with a previous EP and the excellent Tar a-Kan full-length, their new EP Urbana sees them returning to those depressive, industrial meets darkwave meets gothic vibes with plenty of style and raw emotion. Not only that, but the 4 song EP acts as a stepping stone, seemingly propelling them into more unique territory that other like-minded bands don’t seem to step foot into.
One of the more interesting facets of Fellahin Fall has been their ability to generate a more urban soundscape than their peers, and the appropriately titled Urbana continues this trend in exciting ways. The industrial and darkwave sounds feel more interwoven in the band’s sound than ever before. The brooding but nuanced sense of melancholic playfulness in “The Parting” borders on almost joyful in a roundabout way with the melodies, but the underlying tone maintains a ‘dark alley’ tone that honestly does feel very NYC. The band doubles down on the gloominess for “Grey Morning,” arguably the most melodic (and synth-y) of the EP. The sense of yearning is very palpable at the song’s onset, yet as the song begins to swell it manages to maintain it. The chorus all but knocks it out of the park, with just a hint of soaring power that doesn’t outdo the build-up to it. From a personal standpoint, it’s the highlight of the release. Not to ignore the opener “Bury Me” though, in contrast likely the heaviest cut. It’s also the song that really digs deep into that urban decay, with some utterly murky vibes emanating from it’s quieter moments. When it goes harder into the industrial side and elevates the intensity, it’s quite a thrill – all without compromising the gothic doominess one would expect from the group. The only other song on here is a cover of the Woods of Ypres classic “Everything I Touch Turns to Gold (Then to Coal).” The strongest thing that can be said about it is how well it flows into the three songs that precede it. There’s a very definitive Fellahin Fall touch that they have added to it, keeping the spirit of the original there but adding their own flavors to it.
It’s been a bit since we have heard from Fellahin Fall, but it’s clear that they’ve taken the time to augment their formula into something that works even better for them. Evolving their sound while keeping it very recognizable is a feat in and of itself, so that alone would earn Urbana some kudos. But to make it as interesting and unique as they continue to do – that’s truly what makes Fellahin Fall such an undiscovered gem. Maybe check them out and get them the boost they deserve for a wider audience.