Arrows is the first single from Arizona post-rock / shoe-gazers Holy Fawn, coming album. It might be true that there is shoegaze in this song, with its laid back feeling and calm floating vibes. But underneath there’s a beast lurking. A beast that is slowly evoked from beneath the subtle rituals that is chanted in the first minutes of the song. This is where Holy Fawn stands out, combining almost a black metal feeling into the music at distinct parts.
This interchanging between shoegaze feeling, indie/alternative and sometimes post-rock, spiced with the brutality and heaviness of black metal, really is a force. Arrows gently lull the listener into a trance, only to pop out once with a warning, of what to come, before hell breaks loose. And indeed it does. The ending of Arrows is powerful with guitars weighing tons and heartfelt screams from below.
The road to affliction and agony is one beautiful, determined, soothing and fluid journey, embellished with dreamy ethereal vocals. Everything served with a melancholic tone. Extremely well written and convincing.
I enjoy that tangible, repetitive mood that covers everything with an aura of being one with your surroundings. That whole build up, towards the end, is at all times, holding a firm grasp on the listener, as if spellbound. I specifically enjoy that subtle warning after approx 2 minutes.
Only thing I could wish for, is a bit longer ending. That roaring fury would have been a joy to listen to, for several more minutes. But at the other hand it’s also working quite well, with the song ending abrupt and with a flatline. In the roaring part there’s a very nice detail at 5:13, I like the way the background drilling guitars kick in before maybem is cut loose.
One word on production. I think Holy Fawn nailed the production to perfection. The way the drums are really in the background in the first part of the song and kicks in for real at the end. They way the vocals are also mixed quite low, fits the soundscape so good. Well done !
If I should try to compare Holy Fawn with similar artists, I would say that they do remind me of Whirr and also somewhat of Swirlies. Their more dreamy parts are almost Slowdive. But Holy Fawn is way more heavy sounding in their roaring parts.
Here it reminds me more of belgian post-metallers Oathbreaker and maybe also Deafheaven a bit . That said, I think Holy Fawn are pretty much their own, and in general, I think they have something really interesting going on for them. The songs they write are just that better and even though this review is only describing one of their songs, you should really do yourself a favor and listen to the full back catalog of Holy Fawn.
I am for sure, looking forward to this full-length album, from Holy Fawn. Wonder when it is going to release ?
In the meantime, listen and watch the video for Arrows here, and do also take a listen to their previous album Realms and the excellent single Reykur.
Listen to the single Reykur
Listen to the album Realms