Fall Of The Leafe


August Wernicke

Fall Of The Leafe - August Wernicke ©2000 Icarus
1. Into The Autumnsphere
2. Deference, Diminuend
3. Platinum
4. I Feathe To The Juniper
5. Machina Mimesis (In The Corner Café)
6. Lectured By The Demons Of Dreams
7. Wonder Clouds Rain
8. Effloresce Black & White
9. In Morning Mood A Utopia-Revelation
10. Bleak Picture, August

Somewhere amid Emperor and early Amorphis lies the Finnish band Fall of the Leafe, whose music may be a bit unoriginal but whose lyrics are extraordinary. Musically, August Wernicke has an elaborate, melodic black metal sound, with simple synth melodies layered polyphonically to create a air of denseness, at the expense of folk atmosphere. The synths in general have the much-renowned, melancholy Finnish minor-mode "feel", the guitars with exceptions are mostly thrashed, and the percussion is of the complex, double bass, black and death metal sort. The song "I Feathe to the Juniper" sounds most like Emperor or Satyricon, while the introductory "Into the Autumnsphere" could have been taken from Amorphis's Tales of the Thousand Lakes. The vocals toggle between high screeches and clean, sad singing, but nowadays it seems that hundreds of black metal bands are doing this. Sure enough, the music offers little to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack.

The lyrics, however, paint an entirely different picture. Composing in ecstatic prose instead of poetry, T. Tuominen adroitly applies stream of consciousness technique to write his profoundly metaphorical and cryptic lyrics. Though I may not understand half of what he's talking about, I will humbly declare that his writings are much more than pompous nonsense (unlike a certain Limbonic Art, but I digress). Reading the beautiful irony and humor in the words "now guess what in the world machina mimesis is?" and the subtle meaning behind "A thought arise, a world collapse. SIMPLE as that." begets an aesthetic pleasure that is regrettably absent in Fall of the Leafe's music. Problem is, hardly anyone ever bothers to sit down and read lyrics... I can't recommend August Wernicke to everyone, but the CD is worth looking into if you're a fan of this style of music.

Review by Jeffrey Shyu

Review date: 08/2000

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