FAR PLAIN – Portae Lucis

FAR PLAIN - Portae Lucis
  • 8.5/10
    FAR PLAIN - Portae Lucis - 8.5/10


FAM Records
Release date: December 1, 2008

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Call it Metal, call it atmospheric Hard Rock or call it Grunge, Far Plain is doing it all in their first album Portae Lucis, which is in translation: “The Gate To The Light”. Far Plain’s special mixture of Hard Rock / Metal with dying Grunge oriented elements of music, make this release an interesting listen that offers songs for Metallers and for the Grunge fans. Portae Lucis is a breakthrough from a young band on the right road to success.

The French Far Plain is a project that was started by its vocalist / guitarist, Will Attewell. As a foundation for the project, Will started composing material in the spirit of 90s Grunge and Hard Rock energy with the provision of atmospheric components. All the songs that he created were focusing on inner feelings and life itself.

In 2006, Will introduced the material to Jeff Alcaras, who later, in 2008, produced the project’s first demo recording. Will started looking for a line-up to make this thing more serious and he found three additional members (guitarist, female bass player and a drummer) from some local groups. In the summer of that year the band started working on their debut with production label, FAM Records. The production was managed by the highly experienced Phil Alcaras that helped this band, from what you can probably hear, on making their first milestone achievement. The album was released near the end of 2008 and it’s crying out to all you Metal and Grunge fans to hear some good music.

The Far Plain project has taken a step that not many bands will eagerly take, even if it can be a probable way to success. Metal, in general, was outlined by Grunge, in the early years of the 90s until the late 90s when it went into a deep coma. Metal again proved that it’s not a timely fashion and returned to the throne as the best evil son of Rock. Far Plain is all about the combination of both.

You will find similarities with 3 Doors Down or even the late Nirvana but the sound and, in some parts, the energies are Metal. The flashy solos by Attewell and the lead guitarist Guillaume Jockey are the main symbol of what Grunge had left out when it was on top and a symbol of the important factor that Metal never gave up on. Great examples are “Fly”, “I Am God” and ‘Watch Me Bleeding”.

More of this combination are something that Metalheads and Grungers will like as one, and these are the guitar riffs. There are some heavy bangers around, although not with fast paced drumming and trilled guitars but with punching, heavy, low notes that will rock your heads . Tracks like “Why Going By”, in this track don’t be fooled by the nice intro of Grunge because seconds later you will be facing some hard kicking rhythm. For the Grungers, the chorus on this one is totally Nirvana style and it continues with the remaining verses of the song. Going on with Grunge you will find “We Were Friends” that pretty much sounds like an old Nirvana or Foo Fighter’s track – a very nice track. To more emphasize Nirvana here, aside from the riffs, there is Attewell’s vocals who sounds like the late Cobain. “Bring Back Hippies” is like a 3 Doors Down song with a silly meaning, the riffs are Grungy and the outcome is a solid track.

The best number of this release is the atmospheric and mind blowing, “Feeling Strong”, which is all about criticism and manipulation of a man who just wants to be himself and he has got the power to do so. This song has a great mix of acoustic and electric guitars that along with Attewell’s skilled vocal ability, and a supporting orchestra, makes this song a classic to remember.

“Dreamers”, is another Hard Rock acoustic / electric which is less than the former but has a chorus with a question that runs throughout everyday life. Here Jockey gives you a small taste of a wah-wah solo with some speed. Finally we have here “Yesterday” which closes this album with a western chill of acoustic rhythms and an harmonica, yet it’s not thrilling in any way. The best comparison for this one is something that was made by the American modern Hard Rock, Puddle Of Mudd.

It will be very interesting to see if Far Plain will become a full time band, because there is a bright future for this foursome of Frenchies. Portae Lucis is the band’s first beacon of light and may they keep on shining with the emergence of their next release.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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