Rivendell – ‘Farewell: The Last Dawn (2005)
Release: 12 December 2005
Label: Skaldic Art Productions
I am reviewing Rivendell’s discography to celebrate the return of its only member Gerold Laimer after 17 years of inactivity, and this is his third album Farewell: The Last Dawn. For the ones who have never heard about this project, Rivendell is an austrian one-man epic folk/black metal band originally started as Fangorn in 1998, when a six-song demo was released. Later the name was changed to Rivendell and three albums where published between 2000 and 2005. Lyrically the songwriting is heavily inspired by Tolkien’s poems.
This is the 3rd and last album Falagar brought us during 5 years and in my opinion this is the best of all. Probably not an incredible album if taken per se, but the best way to conclude a trilogy that will keep a special place in my heart despite its flaws.
Getting into the musical aspects there’s nothing really different than the previous 2 albums, but what’s been made reached better results for the aforementioned reasons. There is Rivendell’s usual mixture of Arabian, Celtic and Medieval sounds (also through the help of unpopular folk instruments like citar as well as small bagpipe parts and a lot of flute) and somebody may think that’s just a mess but I think this album’s message reaches the listener coherently. As I told in the previous paragraph this album has not to be listened without any context to get the best experience. This album wants to give the feeling of an end, of a journey that’s reached its final step, no matter what the voyage is because our last step will always be in front of mother nature when we’ll leave our physical life at last.
The Old Walking Song and of course last track Tinúviel get to be the most relevant songs in this sense. I believe there’s no better way to conclude your musical work than with this solemn theme which clearly is Falagar’s strong piece. That’s why epic and atmospheric metal listeners will surely get satisfied by this work.
Musically talking, the majority of black metal sounds has been eschewed from this album, with the only exception being 6th track Back To Lands We Once Did Know, featuring multiple screaming and some very long tremolo picking sections as well during the half of the song.
Farewell: The Last Dawn closes a trilogy of albums where Rivendell managed to create an original work in the field of epic metal. Any comparisons to Falkenbach or Summoning will not make justice to an author that was able to find his own musical path, maybe taking inspiration from some previous works (do not forget that lyrics are taken from Tolkien), but certainly worth mentioning while defining epic metal’s history. If this band couldn’t get enough fame with these 3 albums I am proud to say that the travel’s not ended yet. Rivendell surprised all of us by stating that he’s come back to music with a single called “Grey Havens” and another one that isn’t out yet as for now. Now we’ll just need to wait and see what he still has in store for all of us…
- Rivendell 06:20
- The Fall of Gil-galad 02:58
- The Old Walking Song 06:50
- Eärendil 07:52
- A Drinking Song 02:15
- Back to Lands We Once Did Know 06:49
- Tinúviel 09:12