(Originally written by me to the Prog Archives.)
Ahh, Fall of Efrafa. What an interesting band.
A concept band based around the high fantasy novel known as "Watership Down", Fall of Efrafa were a British post hardcore/atmospheric sludge/rock group. For those who are uninformed, "Watership Down" is a fantasy book written English author Richard Adams, following the tale of a colony of rabbits. This may sound strange for a band to base a theme around, but Fall of Efrafa's lyrics and transcriptions from the book are well written enough for even non-readers of the book (like me) to be interested by their lyrics. This album, "Inle" is their final album. (On an unrelated note, Fall of Efrafa's category of albums were a bit oddly placed on the website I discovered them so it was a tad confusing.)
The music of FOE could very easily be described as pure post rock, in the vein of later Isis (USA) and Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Canada). However, it also has a very straightforward post-hardcore/atmosludge style which brings to mind the more aggressive side of Neurosis (USA) and Dirge (France). The fourth track, "The Burial" is a song that incorporates both the sludge metal and post rock - it goes from incredibly heavy, to incredibly soft and soothing, and so on and so forth. The songs on this album are very long, the shortest being a 2 minute interlude ("The Sky Suspended"), and the longest being a near 18 minute monster (awesomely titled "Warren of Snares").
While the album carries a mostly heavy, almost doom-metal like atmosphere, there are some entirely soft songs on here too. "Simulacrum" is a lengthy 6 minute intro and is probably my least favorite of the album - it drags on for far too long and does not give a good idea of what the rest of the tracks will sound like. "The Sky Suspended" is another soft track, which is basically just a preparation for "Warren of Snares", and it doesn't do much to the album other than tensing the listener up for the grande finale.
My favorite track on here is "Woundwort". It starts off a little iffy at first, but soon becomes awesome and doesn't let up - full of massive riffs (13:44), simple but catchy drum beats, and some really good clean parts (3:27), with the vocalist screaming to his fullest.
Also, about the vocals - they are screams like I mentioned, a dry, raspy growl which makes it even more hardcore-ish. Many people might hate these vocals, but I personally love them. They sound desperate, anguished and with feeling, and they fit the music, especially during the heavy parts.
So what do we have here? We have a very, very good post-hardcore album with tinges of doom metal and heavy doses of post-rock, and will most likely appeal to fans of non metal heads and metalheads alike. Reccommended for fans of Neurosis, Isis, Rosetta and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.