Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Forest Of Stars - "Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring" CD

This English quintet get really liberal with their black metal inspirations, and they are gifted a rare treasure missing in at least 99% of the scene -- a sense of humor! The band's website is a beautifully artistic recreation of a 19th century "Gentleman's Club", complete with books the visitor can "leaf" though, moveable desk props, and Daguerreotypes of the band members as they "were" in 1890. Certainly refreshing in a sea of "too dark for thou" corpse-painted po-faces.

That said, musically, A Forest Of Stars don't refer to that era at all. They exhibit the screeching speed riffs and unintelligible vocal roar of the usual black metal, but the addition of flutes, strings, and symphonic elements is a welcome addition. "Sorrow's Impetus" opens with a maelstrom of harsh black metal and swirling psychedelia - a mix that works quite well. "Summertide's Approach" could be a medieval Tool or Isis, even, if either of those bands utilized violins or flutes in their respective lexicons. "Thunder's Cannonade" churns with a doomy seriousness, and the moody "Starfire's Memory" falls away to reveal a darkened soundtrack of thunder and cavernous noises. The closer, "Delay's Progression", begins as a light synthesizer soundtrack before sharpening the blade and ramping it up to a 16-minute progressive-metal epic. Solid and bewildering work here, melding genres almost as wildly as a Mike Patton-related project. (Transcendental Creations)

A Forest Of Stars site

A Forestspace

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