|#PER CHI AMA/FOR FANS OF: Black/Death, Aevangelist, Phlebotomized, Nocturnus|
“The Forest Dreams of Black” is their official proclamation into the extreme metal scene. It consists of eight tracks, plus an intro, “Enter the Black Forest”, that welcomes you to the rest of the album. These two ominous characters, Count Murmur and the lady Vanth, offer us their personal vision of extreme metal; an ambitious mixture of black and death, tinged with a touch of eerie symphonic tones. “Horrors at Antioch” is the track that follows the album intro, and it is the track I believe would be preferred by most. I would describe it as “The Key” by Nocturnus, however written by Limbonic Art, and performed by Aevangelist under the light of a full moon. Do I like this combination? Yes I do. The duality of death metal and black metal are presented and established throughout the duration of this album. Do not be alarmed if you find yourself to be morally dissolute while listening to this album. Especially allegorically dying from the harrowing symphony, “Lord is Self” (done in the rigid style of Morbid Angel), or suffering a fit of claustrophobia from the dark epic, “The Crusade of Dracul” (obviously inspired by Vlad the Impaler), or suffocating under the instrumentality of “The Darkest Premonition (of things to come…). Vocal-wise, Count Murmur alternates between a harsh growling style, and a rasp that goes along with the underlying melodic rhythms. Perhaps during the course of this album, you may come across a strange transition or two. This is a result of the extreme mixing of genres that creates a piecemeal genre that has no definitive identity, or the desire to stay in-between genres, or perhaps from a lack of a general atmosphere. Such is the case with “Encounter with the Shadow People”, which remains ambiguous in terms of genre. This also applies to the closing track, “The Watchful Eye”, where the harshness of the album begins to fade, giving way to a more avant-garde atmosphere. It is a kindness that there is a work as complex as this on the album. Praise goes to the lengthy track, "Herein Lies the Crooked Elm," which again highlights the great symphonic orchestrations that distinguish the macabre sound of Tine. Also, the presence of clean vocals shows yet another face of the evil US duo. What is striking, however, is the heavily brooding atmosphere that presides over more than fifty minutes of the release, and the continuous change of tempo dictated by ghostly keyboards and esoteric environments.
Upon listening and listening again to the album, I found more key points that are reminiscent of works of the past, especially involving the main guitar. In the instrumental, “The Key to Forbidden Knowledge”, the muffled guitar sounds are reminiscent of the muddiness of “Preach to the Gospel”, the debut EP by the Dutch band Phlebotomized. In conclusion, “The Forest Dreams of Black” is a good album. It may not be for everybody, but it is certainly impactful. (Francesco Scarci - Translation by Carrie Eakin)