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Old Forest – Black Forests of Eternal Doom Award winner

Old Forest
Black Forests of Eternal Doom
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 04 August 2019, 1:32 PM

OLD FOREST is a Black Metal band from London, England. Both KOBOLD and KOBRO are also in the band IN THE WOODSOLD FOREST’s  fifth full length album, “Black Forests of Eternal Doom,” isn’t just a run of the mill Black Metal album—it also incorporates elements of Doom with a lot of atmospheric touches.  The combination has been done before, of course, but OLD FOREST are particularly adept at blending the styles together.  Black Metal purists might balk at the use of clean vocals but for fans that love BM that steps outside the box, this won’t bother them and is actually welcomed.

The opening track, “Subterranean Soul,” begins in a classic black metal fashion.  Searing riffs, earthquake inducing drumming, and the caustic, acid drenched vocals.  The clean vocals pop in and out, giving the album different feel just before things slow down and to more melodic leanings.  I like how the album quickly sets itself apart so early on—it is a display of the care, confidence and pride that OLD FOREST place into their music.  Despite the overall aggressiveness of the track, it is also laced with a mournful sound that ups the atmosphere.

The second track, “Wastelands of Dejection,” is even more full on Black Metal aggression.  The various temp changes and the kick ass riffs in the song’s mid-section keep things interesting until the song slows to almost a crawl—a melodic Doom section seemingly out of nowhere.  I loved this part of the song but especially how it leads to the ending, which is as frantic as the track’s beginning.  OLD FOREST definitely have a knack for building different parts of a song into a cohesive experience.

The third, and title track, “Black Forests of Eternal Doom,” is the most accessible (for Black Metal) of the six.  The drums are perfectly timed to perfectly accent the riffs and clean vocals.   I know its blasphemous to purists, but I will even go as far to say this track is rather catchy.  Not in a mainstream way, of course, but just how well it flows together.  The later half of the song is a bit more clean and melodic, but never loses site of the band’s core sound. “Shroud Of My Dreams,” is definitely the most different styled track on the album, very far removed from the previous tracks.  All the instrumentation is clean, as are the vocals, but it is so goddamn well done.  Despite not being a Metal track, the song still keeps the same feel as the album itself—the same sound, just done a different way.

The fifth track, “A Spell Upon Thee,” is the most well-rounded track on the album and one that I feel is really a great example of what the band wanted to achieve on this album.  The song’s slower pace allows their sound to dig in more, a dense forest with many paths to take. The final track, “Hang’ed Man,” is sort of darkness that comes with different shades—beautiful yet hopeless passages litter the landscape of the almost nine-minute long song. The first two and a half minutes are extremely moving, a wandering landscape where both the dead and alive can find common ground. The riffs wash over the song, pulling everything in around it like a black hole, leaving me the impression this is probably the best mix of Doom and Black Metal I’ve heard all year.  The ending of the song caps off an album journey, that, while harrowing, needs to be taken by anyone who is a fan of extreme Metal.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Subterranean Soul
2. Wastelands of Dejection
3. Black Forests of Eternal Doom
4. Shroud of My Dreams
5. A Spell Upon Thee
6. Hang’ed Man
Lineup:
Kobold – Vocals, Keyboards
Beleth – Guitars, Bass
Kobro - Drums
Record Label: Dusktone Records
     


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