The Saint Jans Cappel, France-based group Fall Of Messiah have packed a richly immersive and emotionally captivating musical vision on their latest album Senicarne. The album feels like it’s shining a light through a thick fog, like some kind of life-saving lighthouse on a rock-strewn seaside. The music intertwines post-hardcore and post-rock vibes, with extended, flowing melodies that feel remarkably heavy — and yet, no matter the heaviness, there’s always a guiding light of stirring melody. For instance, “Sequoia” opens on a wildly heavy note, and by the end, powerfully orchestrated musical crescendos have taken the spotlight.
Dynamics vary across the record, which is largely without vocals. Within a couple of minutes on the very first song, crescendo-style riffs make an appearance. The band then mellows out a bit, with riffs that feel like ripples gently expanding along the surface of a body of water — and then, after about another minute, an even-heavier version of the crescendo-style riffing takes the spotlight once again.
The subsequent track, “Contreforts,” opens with a physically frenetic blast that hits with the certainty of a tidal wave, but then, after about a minute, the band bring their craft back into the territory of those comparatively mellower riffs that made an appearance on the first song. Buoyed in part by strikingly rich drum rhythms, the textures feel like a rapidly shifting ocean surface, as if the song and album as a whole somehow capture the soundtrack for making a potentially treacherous but exhilarating solitary boat journey as the sun sets on the horizon. Through elements like those more simmering riffs and the gently flowing yet heavy melodies that open “Riveloup,” an awe-inspiring sense of beauty occupies a prominent place on the record. On “Riveloup,” for instance, the band pair segues of heavy, hardcore-esque riffing with melodies that feel markedly free-flowing.
There’s a simmering vibe to a lot of the riffing and song constructions, as if the pieces are built around an experience of diving into a potentially treacherous great beyond and finding monuments of great beauty. Most of “Vertes Vignes,” for instance, centers on rather gentle ambient riffing, and once the concluding crescendos of heaviness kick in, there’s still the vibe of emotional discovery. (Ambiance also figures prominently on “Atlantique,” “Sand Mountain,” and other spots.)
An alternate metaphor that might work well for the listening experience is that Senicarne captures the vibe of diving beneath the surface of the sea and finding what feels like an entire alternate universe of great beauty just below the waves. There’s a consistent heaviness in the band’s sound, but Fall Of Messiah also remain very melody-centric — and these melodies feel, quite simply, just so beautiful, even amidst moments leaning towards tension.
Senicarne by Fall Of Messiah is available to listen to now via Holy Roar Records. Check it out below!