Monday, July 23, 2012
A Forest of Stars: a Shadowplay for Yesterdays
I have appreciated this bands previous works the songs tended to be a little lengthy for my iPod,but I have imagined there live show must be entertaining as they're the first if not the only black metal band to assume a steam punk motifs
The bands opening dramatic narrative reminds me a little of Bowles outside album, it lurches into a creepy churn, the bass very prominent before they get a ase of the blasts mcnasties, the vocals coarse but not hatefully wrecthed almost black metal making the lyrics comes across more liken invocation. The dynamics on this are great, there are some very dark and unique sounds, is this what steam punk metal should slime mmm. Well the violin works for me ,maybe some gears churning and whistles piping of int eh back ground and in my head steam punk has a more vaudevillian element. The violins does dig up memories of earlier my dying bride ? The almost science fiction pulse of electronicsin the song man's laughter comes closet to realizing what steam punk black metal sounds like.
These guys defy liturgy smarty pants hunter Hendrix's theory of hyborean black
Metal saying the blast beat becomes a paradox and more ambient than heavy, while his point of reference is Darkthrone's Transylvanian hunger album that stays blasty through out. These guys vary the drumming, when the double bass comes in it reAlly compliments the awesome riff opening the song a prophet for a pound of flesh. This has more in common with agalloch or blut aus nord than dark throne for sure. The way the songs ebb an dflow borders on prog but they keep things steadier than Sigh.
Some great guitar sounds, some of the more acoustic passages make me think of death in June I terms of feel,and throughout the album their is a beauty and the beast sort of counter balance, if memory serves me correctly I should say this album has a much heavier and rawer vibe than at least it's predecessor.
The vocals are the only weak link,they are rough and not sung never go into a full on scorching scream, I think at times a good shriek would float over the proceedings to useful effect, maybe there,a a little Bathory worship going on in the vocal dept.
I am a big fan of the almost death rock inflection the vocals take on during the underside of Eden , I think it compliments the more theatrical elements. Clean vocals return double female vocals in the last song and the bonus track, which for all practical purposes is part of the album. The last two songs take a more melodic approach giving the over all work a more interesting build.
The drumming has made noticed strides since the last album, the double bass has a massive assault as if Hellhammer is behind the kit. The bass playing is creative and melodic giving an underlying groove not typically found in the genre, tough it brings to mind Peste Noire at times.
they are bringing a lot to the table on this one and I think they've really come into their own , with out question this wil be staying in myipod for dragon con but I suspect it will only grow on in the best ways possible as it possesses most of the qualities I look for in music. I do have to only give this album an 8 due to the very approach to the vocals and some times the blast beat feel slightly like a copping out into default mode as a dynamic shift, which are the only two elements preventing this from being an other wise perfect listen.