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Flowers For Bodysnatchers - Fall The Night [EP] (2016) - Review

Band: Flowers For Bodysnatchers
Album title: Fall The Night EP
Release date: 14 November 2016
Label: Self-released

01. Where The Carcass Lies
02. They Dwell In Factories
03. Blood Trumpets And Nihilism

Poet: Nathan Hassall
Book title: The Flesh And Mortar Prophecy
Release date: 15 August 2016

Flowers For Bodysnatchers has been a consistently active artist over the last decade. Starting out his music career in the duo dark ambient project, The Rosenshoul, Duncan Ritche quickly made a name for himself. By 2012 Duncan was starting to record under his new solo project, Flowers For Bodysnatchers. It didn't take long for Duncan to attract the attention of Cryo Chamber, where he has been residing since his highly acclaimed album, Aokigahara. After the follow up to Aokigahara, Love Like Blood, Duncan decided to try something a little different. Enter the poetry of Nathan Hassell.

Discovering each others' talents and starting an international friendship, Duncan would later decide to dedicate his latest EP, Fall The Night, to the poetry of Nathan Hassall. Specifically three poems from his latest poetry chapbook, The Flesh And Mortar Prophecy. Choosing three poems from Nathan's chapbook, Duncan crafted an aural representation of each poem. The tracks and poems are easy to compare as the songs are named after each of these poems.

Nathan's poetry focuses on some of the darkest corners of the psyche. Covering themes such as villainous doctors, psychotic demons, and apocalyptic extinction. This obviously goes hand in hand with many of the themes found throughout the Flowers For Bodysnatchers discography.

In order to fully understand Fall The Night it is essential that listeners familiarize themselves with each of Nathan's three poems. The opening track "Where The Carcass Lies" is also the first poem in Nathan's chapbook:

Where The Carcass Lies

Above damp grass,
I catch the glimmer
of dim light.
the stars coalesce with me,
the night whispers in tongues
and all around me,
visions shatter.

Saws spin
and hack thoughts
from pathetic minds.
each blade dulls the lucid veil
through chimeras of hideous chuckling.

Before brittle bones,
I had planned an escape
determined to bring back the light
from disquiet skies.
now above me a frayed rope,
and a burn on my neck.

Listening to "Where The Carcass Lies" with a discerning ear, we can easily here the transitions throughout the track, coinciding with the three sections of this poem. The first section having a more magical feel to it, we are able to imagine the night sky hanging motionless above our world. As we listen and watch the sky, feelings of melancholy, even remoteness come to the surface. Transitioning into the second section, the sounds take a turn for the worse. Darkness has fully engulfed the scene. We can hear, or maybe just imagine, the sounds of these saws as they spin, tearing into the brain cavity of some poor victim. By the third section, we are returning to a more melancholic setting. The lonely piano movements return, the gusting winds, which sounded as if they were bellowing up from hell itself, diminish, slowly fading into oblivion. This is the end, literally, as the protagonist of the poem seemingly finds himself hanging from the noose.

They Dwell In Factories

Victim to passion’s redundancy
men are put away,
scarred from life’s leash.

unable to control their beasts
they weep on their bellies
obedient and still
scattered between crumbled walls
in tattered clothes.

depraved minds trick themselves
that sanity is beyond
the ruin.

they whimper like padlocked dogs.

Industrial sounds pervade, as if we are hidden in the shadows of some terrifyingly hellish factory. Flowers For Bodysnatchers builds this image up in exquisite detail. We find ourselves directly in the shoes of some down-trodden protagonist of the story. One of many laborers, he is doomed to keep pushing that massive boulder up the hill, like the ancient Corinthian, Sisyphus, never finding any solace.

Blood Trumpets And Nihilism

There is fire in their blood,
not a passionate one
one which burns through shrieks of terror
as the First Horn
of slaughtered rams
begins to cry.

forests become the abyss;
melt into waxen streams.

mountains plunge
into oceans
which gut themselves,
stain ships and rise,
swallow them
in red-mist hideousness.

Wormwood readies itself,
descends on the waters,
taints it
so that poison and death
become all that is muttered
and murmured
and weak stomachs
hurl their bones.

The setting of "Blood Trumpets And Nihilism" appears to be a version of our Earth, on the brink of an apocalyptic extinction. Just as Nathan describes the crumbling Earth, Flowers For Bodysnatchers lets his love of apocalyptic soundscapes run wild. What starts as a somber stroll through the forest, quickly devolves into an impending doom. We can close our eyes and hear the trees as they are engulfed in flame, feel tremors rising from deep within the Earth, as they tear the landscape open, swallowing mountains, ships, and all else that is unfortunate enough to be standing in the way.

Flowers For Bodysnatchers obviously took Nathan's poetry seriously. It truly feels like he took every word of the poems into account. There is never a sense of the process being forced. Duncan's music is already a natural fit for this type of poetry, but Duncan made sure to take all aspects into consideration, never cutting corners. What we are left with is one of the most noteworthy accomplishments to date from Flowers For Bodysnatchers. The album is able to triumphantly stand on its own. Each track with equal seriousness. Yet coming together with Nathan Hassall, Duncan has crafted something truly special, which blurs the boundaries between written and aural media. Fall The Night is a brilliant addition to Duncan's already illustrious discography. I, for one, will hope to see more collaborations in the future between these two gentlemen.

Written by: Michael
Rating: 9/10

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