Fear Falls Burning – I’m one of those monsters numb with grace

James Brown had the nick-name ‘the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business’. Dirk Serries from Belgium must be one of the hardest working men of the ambient music scene. From the mid 80’s on he filled dozens of albums with atmospheric music under the name of Vidna Obmana. In 2005 he started a new project, Fear Falls Burning, and the number of releases already cannot be counted one one hand.

The concept of Fear Falls Burning is a clear: a single man performs real-time on the electric guitar, which sounds are manipulated into trance-like walls of sound. “I’m one of those monsters numb with grace” contains two long drone tracks, lasting about 40 minutes in total. The US label Equation Records deserves lots of praise for the wonderful packaging: a solid gatefold sleeve and a record on thick 180 gram grey vinyl. The artwork contains macro photography of guitars.

The music offered here is not very surprising if you have heard more of Fear Falls Burning’s work: textured soundscapes, with subtle shifting loops of stretched-out guitar drones, at times hardly recognizable through all the effects. The music is rather minimal and monotonous, but also effective in building up a special atmosphere, especially when played loud.

Both tracks are relatively tranquil and relaxing and softly melodic. Though “I’m One of those Monsters” sounds quite doomy, it also let’s me drift away in its hazy environment. “Numb with Grace” starts very gentle but ends quite heavily distorted and oppressive. This is a solid record which would not be ouf of place in anyone’s drone/post-rock collection.

artist: Fear Falls Burning
label: Equation Records
details: LP, 2 tracks, 2006 [E=mc14], 399 copies.