For a new seven-inch, False distill the power of their 12-minute black-metal sagas into single-length songs | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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For a new seven-inch, False distill the power of their 12-minute black-metal sagas into single-length songs


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False are the only black-metal band who’ve ever made me cry. Last September at Scorched Tundra, the cathartic gusts of “Saturnalia” (from False’s untitled 2015 album) blew open a window in the attic, so to speak, and suddenly my eyes filled up. At the end of July, Wisconsin label Gilead Media drops the first new music in what feels like ages from this Minneapolis six-piece: the two-song seven-inch EP Hunger. The seven-inch format required a radical change from False, whose previous releases have averaged more than 12 minutes per song. “Anhedonia” and “Hunger” both last between four and five minutes, but it feels like they pack in just as many episodes and metabolic shifts as the band’s long, snaking compositions. An overwhelming number of things seem to happen at once, in part because the mix doesn’t foreground any one element—buzzing, prickling guitars braid together with wizard-movie synth, and their gracefully surging melodic motion creates an unstable tension with the spattering barrage of the drums and the lunging, anguished vocals. I love the ragged punk frenzy of False’s black metal, because it makes them sound like they’re trying really hard, playing at their limits if not beyond them. Many forms of metal privilege a virtuosic command that prevents the music from feeling like a sincere struggle to express something difficult or painful. But False don’t keep their songs on a leash—they hang on to them for dear life.   v

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