|Psychadelic Black Metal
June 1st, 2010
Release length: 1:12:10
Opportunistic Thieves of Spring is one of those releases you will either love, or hate. There really is no middle ground here. The album is quite exceptional, but you need to be ready to embrace this more artsy style of Black Metal composition when you sit down to listen to it, otherwise the album is really just going to confuse and, more then likely, aggrivate you. When A Forest of Stars actually plays Black Metal, the overall feeling is joy, if not for the fact that much of the material seems to be based on, or inspired by, material by fellow British act Akercocke, which is rather obvious during the earlier Black Metal moments of “Sorrow’s Impetus”, the first track on the release. As the album continues on, it does shed itself from this band, which seems to be used more as a blueprint then any kind of idol worship.
It also doesn’t help that sometimes the album seems to focus moreso on the classical/psychadelic atmospheres and compositions then on any actual Black Metal, which really wouldn’t be a problem if those compositions were any good. For the most part, they are rather simplistic at best, and while some of the instruments used to set up that kind of ambience for the album work well with the rather raw production quality and do help to aid in the atmosphere that each track seems to uniquely possess, they can be very long and drawn out, which in turns makes the songs themselves rather long and drawn out as well, leaving the listener debating on whether it’s even worth continuing on to the next track. Luckily, this isn’t the case with every track, and some wind up being highly enjoyable for the long length that they carry on, such as “Raven’s Eye View” as well as “Summertide’s Approach”, which are really just better structured songs between the two musical approaches with more moments of Black Metal that move the songs along nicely, though “Raven’s Eye View” can become a little boring after a while thanks to the repetitive nature of the guitars and drums attempting to create an Egyptian-like sound, but doesn’t last long enough to hinder the progress of the album from that track on.
After about thirty five minutes into this CD, things start to once again unwind as they did on the first track. “Thunder’s Cannonade” finds the band reverting back to the way they composed “Sorrow’s Impetus”, which is mostly composed of a higher, creepy instrumental (violin one would assume) that one would hear in a horror film to raise tension. However, the classical music void of the higher pitched performance that starts off this track lasts about half the song, and the actual Metal aspects that follow wind up being chopped up by that aforementioned sound, and it doesn’t end here either. Much of the following track “Starfire’s Memory” is composed of ambience as well, but more like an astrological atmosphere brought on through keyboards and deeply distorted guitar chords being played slowly against it, as well as some female vocals thrown in the mix later on in the song. However, this track is essentially just ambience in the long run and doesn’t really offer much at all.
For A Forest of Stars, the band attempts to create something different and uniquely artsy, but in the long run there’s too much artistic input and not enough actual music that is worth anything. Sure there’s a few tracks on here that show promise, which are really only three. The rest feel drawn out, or even just hollow and empty without really doing anything to progress the music, leaving the album sound very random, though thanks to the songs bleeding into one another, it is clearly meant to sound as if it is one long song. If you want something very artistic, then give A Forest of Stars a quick go, but if artistic intent, or the sacrifice of solid song writing isn’t your thing, then just skip by on this album and sample the aforementioned better tracks, as there really isn’t much offered on this album.
01. Sorrow’s Impetus – 13:01
02. Raven’s Eye View – 9:23
03. Summertide’s Approach – 13:27
04. Thunder’s Cannonade – 8:01
05. Starfire’s Memory – 11:50
06. Delay’s Progression – 16:28
|Overall Score: 4/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Transcendental Creations.