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Upiór – The Forest That Grieves

The Forest That Grieves
by Ricardo Casagrande at 06 June 2022, 11:14 AM

UPIÓR, Polish for “Revenant”, was formed in 2019 and has released a slew of singles from then up to 2022. In 2021, they released a demo called Where Dead Angels Lie and now have released their Symphonic Death metal debut album The Forest That Grieves. Hailing from northern France and with theatrical-like musical interludes before each song, they look to put their play into motion for the world to hear.

As the album starts off with a sombre piano piece, “Reality MMXX” begins and the sombre intro is a fitting beginning to a end of mankind themed track. A plague has set in, and the world begins to heal itself with the extinction of man, as an ominously distorted guitar riff kicks the song off. The song is a Melodic Death metal paced tune that picks up with some nice solo work and some keyboards that bring new dimension to the music. The drums are well-played on the track, keeping an aggressive pace throughout and some creative rolls, but always seems to be working at a feverish pace. Act 2 is an old school classical music start to the song “Haunting Memories”. A galloping guitar riff and machinegun double bass is a driving point to the song allowing Chris’ raspy growl to bellow above the music. The keys in this song among others on the album bring a melancholy effect to the harshness of the music that settles in nicely as the songs march on. “Dagon Sleeps” is a melodic track that even though it includes fast paced picking and rapid double kick, has a relaxed tempo that is deceiving considering the pace of the music at times.

After an organ dominated intro with the Act 4, “The Forest That Grieves” starts up with odd timing notes that pair with some palm muted riffs to add a hammering effect to the music. The vocals have a harsh screech to them on this song that also carry into parts of the next track “Neural Decay”. The keyboards add a fairy-tale effect to the classic Death metal riffs and stand out with the technical work with the guitars. The music takes a turn with some jazzy drums and classic guitar picking that really catches you off guard, but certainly for good reason. The song embodies a lot of what you look for in a well written Death metal track. The album finishes up with the ten-minute-long song “Mountains of Madness”. Starting off with a snare blast and blistering guitar, the music takes different forms before ending. The vocals tell of a frozen expedition and the discovery of an alien race that existed before humans. From Melodic Death metal to a Black metal screech, the music matches the vocals and vice versa. There is a cool solo battle with the guitars that will stand out to the listener.

The album is set up like a play, with the intro’s that are creative pieces of music themselves, usually taking a classical music road to set up the songs that follow them. The keyboards give the music another layer within the harshness of the vocals and between music without getting engulfed with the chaos. The album is well produced and seems to have been creatively thought out through the songwriting.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Act 1: We Are Forsaken
2. Reality MMXX
3. Act 2: Life Reaps What Is Sowed
4. Haunting Memories
5. Act 3: Beyond Decay and Disease
6. Dagon Sleeps
7. Act 4: An Absence of Light
8. The Forest That Grieves
9. Act 5: Secret Assailant Strikes
10. Neural Decay
11. Act 6: Bloodstained Knowledge
12. Project Muruta
13. Act 7: We Must Escape
14. Mountains of Madness
Chris Bone – Vocals
Tomasz “Josh” Jaskula – Guitars, Bass
Kevin Paradis – Drums
Sebastian “Drache” Stachowiak – Keyboards
Record Label: Independent


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