Review: Folian – Ache Pillars

Maybe the name David S. Fylstra already says something to you, unfortunately it didn’t do to me until now. Until 2017 he played his solo-material under the banner of Wasting Seasons. Besides that he already collaborated with bands such as Ramprasad, Drowse, Bible Black Tyrant, Kvøid and Canadensis. He also has his own record label, Anima Recordings. As I already mentioned he stopped playing as Wasting Seasons in 2017. He then started his new solo-band, named Folian. With Folian, he already released Things Go Away, Unsound Thing and Loom. The latter one recently got a successor, titled Ache Pillars, on March the 22nd.

On Ache Pillers Folian mixes drone, metal, noise and shoegaze into a combination that is enormously crushing and beautiful at the same time. You immediately are dragged into this during the first moments of opener Clearing in the Shadows. A few moments later this contrast gets clearer when there are dark, heavy drones added, resulting in everything shaking. When David also adds his beautiful clean vocals this gets extra clear.

The further Clearing in the Shadows progresses, the darker, more psychedelic and more hypnotizing it gets. Especially the hypnotizing part is a teaser for Ghost in the Flesh, in which guitars and drums are also added to the music. Further into Ghost in the Flesh it gets even more crushing than before with a bit of a sludgy vibe. Something else that becomes clear at that moment is that David can also scream very nicely. This all leads to a very tension-building period that flows into a hypnotizing part with rain-like sounds.

The next track, Gift of Sorrow, is a bit more noisy and experimental. It also has a very haunting and creepy vibe to it, a nightmare-like atmosphere that David displays very well here, including well-done ghostly voices. At the end of this track the contrast in Folian’s music becomes very clear again: the creepy, haunting sounds seem to become clearer and clearer, while the background melody seems to become much more dreamier.

The closing track of Ache Pillars is Where All This Dust Comes From. This track alone has the same length as the earlier three tracks together. Does that make this track boring? Definitely not! It seems to begin a bit light-weight with a quiet guitar to be heard. However, soon a dark, doomy layer falls over the music. In this track David’s aforementioned beautiful clean vocals are back again, be it a bit more quiet in the mix compared to the guitar. This isn’t any criticism though, since this surely results in a very nice, hypnotizing effect. Later in Where All This Dust Comes From another guitar playing higher can be heard, as well as higher, shrill sounds that all are adding to the hypnotizing effect of this track. This builds up more and more to later flow into an ambient part ultimately leading to an extremely heavy drone-part. A very well done ending of a very nice album.

With Ache Pillars Folian offers an extremely great, intense journey that will probably get you in a trance-like state. A journey that is way too short with its total length of 27 minutes, but it probably will always be way too short. It never gets boring, Ache Pillars is very interesting from the first seconds to the last ones, that’s why it’s probably impossible and undesirable to get pulled out of this journey.

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