It is anything but easy to successfully describe anything about this band, both musically as well as conceptually. They were created with a sole purpose: To share their (sociopolitical) view regarding the reflection of the allegoric novel by Richard Adams’ Waterhsip Down. Their work is divided in 3 concept albums, Owsla, Elil and Inle – all taken from the language that the protagonists speak. This rabbit tongue is inherently rough and coarse, which greatly serves the album aesthetically and is often used throughout this work, here and there, as words or small phrases.
Owsla means warrior or protector. The soldiers of the rabbit society bear this title. The title implies respect and shows that the foundation of this community is somewhat militaristic (Pity the weak) and largely based on the beliefs of their elders that serve as an oligarchy. This serves as fuel for a social revolution of sorts. Initially, one has doubt about the functionality of this setting (A soul to bear starts with Man built God). This song is an accusation against the human species and how we are destroying the earth in the name of religion (“Every man shall bear a soul, a right that no other beast shall have”. And in the shadows the dogs shook their heads “shame upon those apes, pride comes before the soul”). We must all begin to understand that all life is equal, and to kill and eat other life when we no longer need to (where we understand that we can draw all the nutrients we need from plants) is cruel and unnecessary, and that man-made gods do not offer pardons. This sudden realization produces extreme sadness to the soul, which leads to a desperate cry (Lament). This lament brings out the plant to overthrow the existing regime. But before this happens, one asks for the blessing of their dead (Last but not least) in the form of what looks like a prayer – not to the man-made gods, but to those who lost their lives because of those gods (“Give us this day!” , “I will witness the fall of Efrafa”). The fight follows (Fall of Efrafa). We are offered plenty of savage images (“Fur will hang in ragged clumps”). Moreover, the haunting voice of Fiver (one of the main protagonists) warns us that “the fields are covered with blood”. But even though their numbers are fewer (“To turn the tide, in our numbers”), they are determined to change their fates (“Peace is lost to us now”, “In death we make our charge, our last lament”). The outcome of the battle is devastating (“The warren is empty”), but death is not the only change. It is disgust that describes the outcome (“Butchers! We are worth nothing”, “Liars! We are worth nothing”) which is followed by regret (“all I can say is that I am sorry for what we have done”). The epilogue is the sounds of rain, which functions both literally and metaphorically to cleanse.
As mentioned above, it is not an easy task to describe the band musically. They combine elements of hardcore, ambient (black) metal and post-rock. The vocals of Alex are hauntingly beautiful, the guitars have an amazing tone and the fast-paced drumming is so tightly synced with the rhythm section, that it hardly resembles a debut album. Occasionally, we get some samples of a bleak violin tune which adds greatly to the ambient element.
Depressingly slow riffs, heavy drumming and throat-shredding vocals. This band is a gem.