The Pitch: UK avant-garde, progressive black metal band A Forest Of Stars time travel once more from the 1800's to take us on another incredible journey. FFO: Ihsahn, Schammasch, Moonsorrow
What I Like: Beware The Sword You Cannot See was arguably the best album of 2015, and certainly the pinnacle of anything A Forest Of Stars had done up to that point. The lush, diverse instrumentation alongside their unique approach to vocals made for an experience unlike any other, and rivaled the experimentation even of heavyweights such as Ihsahn. They sound like a broadway musical set to a Moonsorrow album. I was hard pressed to think that the band could possibly top such an achievement; but I was wrong.
While it's still too early to say whether Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes is better than its predecessor, it is at the very least right on par. Once again I feel transported to another time and place. Somber, folky strings and dramatic vocal deliveries paint a portrait of early London with the devil lurking around every corner. According to the band, it is a "struggle against insanity;" one perfectly portrayed in atmospheric, elogant builds that make the world-burning eruptions of black metal all the more potent and destructive. Tribal drums, flutes, piano, and intriguing synths add intense layers of texture and dynamics. And speaking of the latter, I daresay "Tombward Bound" has key arrangments akin to The Cure's Disintegration of all things.
Critiques: This is largely perfection.
The Verdict: Simply stunning. Mister Curse continues to deliver some of the most passionate and distinctive vocals around, and he is backed by an equally talented and multi-faceted group of musicians. Few bands make me feel as much as A Forest Of Stars, and this trend continues with Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes. An absolute must-listen and must-buy in 2018.
Flight's Fav's: Tombward Bound, Children of the Night Soil, Precipice Pirouette
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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