Interview_special Foret Endormie Rhun

Forêt Endormie X Rhûn Special (Falls of Rauros) - Record Special - Flatworm Mysticism


A year ago, we started a series which, by its design, was hard to keep going so we were aware that there would be bigger gaps between the editions of this “series” but here we are now with its fourth installment - our “Bands interviewing Bands” - series. This time we have the pleasure of getting Aaron Charles and Jordan Guerette together, who play together in Falls of Rauros but who interviewed each other on their side projects - Aaron’s Psychedelic Black Metal project Rhûn and Jordan’s apocalyptic Chamber music ensemble Forêt Endormie. Of course, head honcho Thorsten also had a few questions for both guys but each came up with mighty cool questions for the FoR-bandmate. In our interview, we also talk about the importance of these projects for Falls itself, about Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time and about Stephen King, the literary icon of the guys’ homestate, Maine. Enjoy the reviews on both outfits’ recent releases as well as the interview!

Many great albums take time to take shape and to see the light of day, and such is the case of Rhûn’s Conveyance in Death. Not only does great music take time, but this album takes inspiration from things that are very relatable to the human condition: self-determination, solitude and ephemerality. It has many layers, blending of Black Metal with Death Metal and Psychedelia elements, that make this a great listen.

Rhûn was born back in 2021 and was formed by Aaron Charles, one of the founding member of Falls of Rauros. The album came out after three years and also features Ray Capizzo on session drums. Conveyance in Death is a self-released album with six tracks and the physical copies are available by House of Inkantation. This album is very different from the Atmospheric Black Metal elements that can be found in Falls of Rauros, but has its own unique sound, making this a different entity that takes various elements that give this album very distinctive and unique layers.

The opening track “Morningstar” has an eerie start, giving the listener goosebumps before the drums and the voice, which sounds like a call from the grave, breaks that slow groovy start. The raw sound will be something that will be constant throughout this album. The guitar playing on this track almost sounds like a wailing that resonates deep within one’s soul. “Tomb of Andesite” has a fast, bone shattering start and keeps that relentless sound until the end. Two tracks deep into this album and you know it will have no respite, it will keep the listener engaged, will keep one peeling off all of those mesmerising and heavy layers. My favourite track of Conveyance in Death is “Bone Ornament”, which sums up the essence of this album: amazing drumming, spine-chilling voice, and the beautiful guitar parts that make Rhûn’s album exceptional. There are moments during this track that almost feel like it allows the listener to breathe and take in all of the slow moments, only to grip you back into its fierce hold. “Howl of Gleaming Swords” and “Citadel in Ruin” keep that beautiful groove and heaviness in Conveyance in Death, that can definitely move you and discover a different element within the album’s sound. “Night’s Glacial Passing” brings the record to a magnificent finish, like a triumphant farewell. It gives this album a great conclusion. From start to finish, Conveyance in Death provides a beautifully crafted heavy sound that only makes you feel grateful that, after this album was dormant for some years, it got released and we got to fully experience it.

The sound and inspiration behind these songs prove that the most beautiful things (in this case, songs) are shaped under hard conditions, and how motivation and self-determination can bring things together. What Rhûn accomplishes with this album is a raw and captivating sound. I cannot wait to hear more from Rhûn as, hopefully, this will not be the last we will hear from Aaron Charles’ project. No matter how long it takes, we will all eagerly wait to hear more from Rhûn. (review by Lucia)

Le désespoir utopique is an album that one might not expect from a project stemming from the environment of Falls of Rauros, as the ensemble focuses on Neoclassical music or as they call it Dark Folk. Jordan founded the project several years ago and this record is already their third full-length (they also released a split record a few years ago), and one can hear the skills of all people involved. It quickly becomes apparent, that – even though Jordan is the songwriter providing the sheet music for the others – the musicians on this record all carry the sound of Forêt Endormie, no matter if it’s Jordan providing guitar, vocals, percussion and synths or Emmett Harrity on the keys, Sarah Mueller with her violin, Maria Wagner lending depth to the sound with the (bass) clarinet or David Yearwood, who played the double bass. His Falls of Rauros-bandmate Ray Capizzo also provided some drums.

This record might be seen as a complementary record to Rhûn, as Forêt Endormie provide an equal amount of intensity, but on a very different level with both bands seemingly sharing an idea of “psychedelia” that is based on the element of repetition which slowly reveals its pull-effect. The organ-like synth sounds, the trickling percussion effects, Jordan’s mesmerizing vocals, clean and yet fragile. The organ-like sounds are one of the trademarks of the nine tracks and 45 minutes, because they often open the soundscapes for the other instruments to join and join the “minor festival”, not because Jordan likes to write solely dark music, but because that is his way of commenting on out time and age. Sometimes these tracks, which seem so fallen out of time, that they might simply be the best comment on our situation.

Nevertheless, one should not expect this record to be Neoclassical in the “classical” sense alone. The songs are quite diverse in themselves, take ”Un décision sera prise” for example: The dark piano sounds underlined by the highly effective and somewhat contrasting clarinet and violin sounds coming in quickly are joined by somewhat hall-ladden submissive beats in the background and then, after a short pause, the whole track turns into a somewhat TripHoppy direction with knacking, percussive-based beats that might remind the mainstream-HipHop fan of Timbaland beats during his run in the early 00s.

On the other hand, you also get soundscapes which are much closer to Free Jazz like the beginning of ”Aucun risque, aucune douleur, aucun lien” where some of the horns seem to run counter to each other. With every spin of the record it becomes clearer that all these feats are only possible because of the mighty skillful people behind the record. To pour so much heart and heat into each plucking of the guitar, each slide of the violin bow or each use of the drumsticks – these folks know their instruments and know what Jordan is trying to express with the music he gives them. Hopefully this ensemble will continue its path and create for many more great records to come. (review by Thorsten)

We are very happy to give you the chance to get to know more about both bands and Thorsten is even happier as he only has some little things to do here - which of course makes this interview only the more interesting! Enjoy Aaron and Jordan interview each other!

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(photo credit: Travis Dodd )