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Suicide Forest - Suicide Forest

Suicide Forest
Suicide Forest
by Gary Hernandez at 05 August 2019, 4:10 PM

There seems to be a lot of one-man Black metal bands around lately. SUICIDE FOREST hails from Tucson, Arizona and is the brain child of A. Kruger. After a string of demos, Kruger released his first full-length album, self-titled, in October 2018.  Although SUICIDE FOREST is on the Avantgarde Music label, there is nothing really avant-garde or experimental about the album. I’m not saying that Kruger presents SUICIDE FOREST as such, it’s just the record label title could be misleading.

I have to admit, two songs into “Suicide Forest” and I was ready to write Kruger off as solidly mediocre—the melodic lo-fi atmosphere, the subtle use of synthesizers, the raspy guttural vocals, the dark depressive lyrics will all be familiar to any fan of Black metal. And then right at the third track, “Longing for Nothingness,” my opinion of this album started to change. It could be a forbidden algorithm of melody that sinister Black metal artists have deployed to lull unsuspecting listeners to the dark side . . . or it could be Kruger has what we call in the music business, “talent.”  Either way, right at the seven-minute point in “Longing for Nothingness” Kruger shifts into the second or third or fourth movement, and the whole tone of the album changes from average Black metal to intriguing litany of existential viscera. Couple that with lyrics like “All that remains is my persistence to be / The architect of my own demise” and you see how this song is easily my favorite on the album.

Following comes a three-minute piano instrumental, “Baptized in Pools of Despondency.” Have to say, I was not expecting this one. I flunked out of piano class when I was ten, so I can’t tell you if the piece is musically sophisticated or not. I can tell you that it sounds pretty good.  Another standout track is “Cold Dark Comfort” – a classic metal band name if there ever was one. In fact, Kruger might want to trademark that bad boy before someone grabs it. This particular track, besides from its awesome title, also features the album’s only guitar solo.

Kruger executes the genre with some skill, his song writing is good, and lyrically he shows some distinct talent. “Suicide Forest,” the album, comes on slow but it has momentum and leaves you with an unsettling sense of dark stoicism, which, oddly, is the signature of any good atmospheric Black metal album.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. Kingdom of Solitude
2. Auto-Immolation
3. Longing for Nothingness
4. Baptized in Pools of Despondency
5. Sea of Trees
6. Cold Dark Comfort
A. Kruger - All instruments
Record Label: Avantgarde Music


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