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A Forest Of Stars - A Shadowplay For Yesterdays

A Forest Of Stars
A Shadowplay For Yesterdays
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 09 August 2012, 1:51 PM

The strong effects of the shadowplay associative, a bizarre and peculiar journey through a mind blowing journey of darkness, fear, utter deep thoughts, hallucinations and illusions. This kind of journey has to be planned carefully, probably by a band of Victorian gentlemen perhaps or by a fiendish pack of hungry old demons? I believe that within the barrier between the gentlemen type and the blizzard beasts of hell, lay the spirits of this abstract six piece group of A FOREST OF STARS. With a psychedelic nature, uncanny extreme music and an approach of performance that can only be found in darkest crooks of the theatre, this English group is supposed to one of the wonders of Black Metal, or better pronounced in their special case, as psychedelic extreme Metal. On the other hand, while having the pleasure upon receiving their new album and third album, “A Shadowplay For Yesterdays”, via Prophecy Productions, I came only to agree in partial with my early notion of the band’s special musical mastermind capacity.

In the midst of the album’s intro and later on the second track “Prey Tell of the Church Fate”, I noticed the haunting unevenness of the band’s hazy musical manipulations. It was like traveling through different times, unusual realities and tremendous stories of one of England’s greatest mysterious eras, the 19th century. For some reason I couldn’t help but to compare A FOREST OF STARS with the early Martin Walkyier’s era of SKYCLAD of the early 90s where albums such as “Wayward Sons Of Mother Earth” and “A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol” grasped the British scene. I don’t know by storm but surely those presented something special. With “A Shadowplay For Yesterdays”it prickled me because there is so much similarities through some of the music, though in its basis A FOREST OF STARS is a Black Metal band unlike SKYCLAD that kept a sort of a twist between extreme Folk and corroded Heavy Metal in their first years, and the vocal line that so much resembled the early shrieks of Walkyier. Nonetheless, even with their weirdness and out of the ordinary musical construct, A FOREST OF STARS seemed to have kept much more attention to their written lyrics than to the flow of their music. I don’t expect fluency through every passage or shroud of a verse but at least something that would stick into one’s mind, a shred of magical melody or a poignant scene that would forever remain.

Through the layers of violins, flutes, old school oriented guitars, percussion, grinding drumming and stimulating vocals, I mostly liked the instrumental “Left Behind as Static” that with its harshness and gentleness told me things that I didn’t come to comprehend from several others prior to it. “A Prophet for a Pound of Flesh” is one of the few that also conveyed vocals that truly inspired along with an intriguing musical prowess. Though Mister Curse barked quite a lot with his daunt singing pattern that kept on shape shifting from growl to a raspy tone. “Corvus Corona” in overall, the whole two parts were quite good presenting a few inspiring keyboards melodies, which shamefully weren’t delivered as well by the guitars, and evocative lyrics.

“A Shadowplay For Yesterdays” is a run in with a bizarre theatre where old tales and stories come alive in a creative and divergent form. A FOREST OF STARS proved that their music is one of its kind, however the lack of flow damaged their effort a bit to become one of the dominant of them all. Their performance is astounding but I can’t believe that it should be hard to connect to what they have to offer.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Directionless Resurrectionist
2. Prey Tell of the Church Fate
3. A Prophet for a Pound of Flesh
4. The Blight of God's Acre
5. Man's Laughter
6. The Underside of Eden
7. Gatherer of the Pure
8. Left Behind as Static
9. Corvus Corona (Part 1)
10. Corvus Corona (Part 2)
Lineup:
Mister Curse- Vocals
Katheryne, Queen of the Ghosts- Violin, Flute, Vocals
The Gentleman- Keyboards, Percussion
Henry Hyde Bronsdon- Guitar, Vocals
Mr Titus Lungbutter- Bass
Mr John "The Resurrectionist" Bishop- Drums, Percussion
Sir Gastrix Grimshw- Guitar, Vocals
Record Label: Prophecy Productions
     


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