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A Forest Of Stars - Opportunistic Thieves of Spring CD (album) cover

OPPORTUNISTIC THIEVES OF SPRING

A Forest Of Stars

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.54 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheOppenheimer
5 stars Opportunistic Thieves of Spring is a really interesting metal journey for the prog listener, and an outstanding eclectic one for the metal fan.

You will find black metal passages full of power and fast pacing, and some deep violin harmonies, growls, digitalized vocals, and lots of surprises. LOTS of surprises.

1. Sorrow's Impetus (13:01) (4/5) The album begins with some noisy soundscape, that slowly fades into the first black metal verse of the album. Tremolo guitars, blast beats, and growls, nothing that was never seen. It looks like the average black metal album. Suddenly the violin comes in, weeping gently, over the blast beats. The "average black metal" turns into a middle-eastern, violin-driven, distorted fantasy, leaving the listener with a mouth-open, ear-gasmic exotic feeling. Not even 4 minutes have passed. A slow, tranquil section begins, with clean/chorused guitars, and the violin. Then BLAST! More metal, but this time, more powerful and less speedy. This is amazing! I want more! And the violin never stopped adding that mellow feel to the thing. Another ambiental section at the 9 minute-or-so mark; with lots of layers and wall of sound, that suddenly breaks out in a lo-fi guitar and drum only riff. The song comes back to "normal" again, ending with that violin-black metal that AFOS is distinguishable of. And this is just the beginning.

2. Raven's Eye View (9:23) (5/5) Strange guitar sounds, strange piano (marimba? wtf is that sound?), and strange modd in general, until the black metal kicks in, and brings the listener to that "wow this is splendid" sort of euforia. But wait, there's more. After that, the all-mighty violin appears again, in a just-a-bit slower riff, that sounds particularly good, leaving you wanting for more. Then, fuck it, some kind of folky bridge, with rare instruments and stuff. These guys are nuts. Unpredictable, yet natural. The flute appears with a peaceful and moody melody, that suddenly gets all tense and moody (in the other meaning of the word) when the black metal appears. That melody is the main theme of the song, and will be reprised several times. At around the 6 minute mark, an eastern percussion appears to give the metal riffs some company, while the main melody is played by other instruments. One of the greatest moments, that left me looking in awe at the mp3 player, is the break at 8:06. The band stops, the last chord played is maintained, and suddenly, at 8:13 you hear a coin. A thief throws the coin upwards, letting it fall in his right palm, then crossing it over to the back of his left hand. Heads! And the main theme starts again, with all its power. Simply superb.

3. Summertide's Approach (13:27) (5/5) Enough with the metal. This song starts with a polka-tango-sort-of-thing, piano and violin playing an upbeat dancing tune. It slowly fades into a sober, shadowy repetitive piano key. and the metal brutal chords rip away all that. You can hear, in the back, what will be the main theme of this song, and at 2.09 it is officially presented to you. But don't think that you've heard everything. After some black metal verses (that sound particularly good, really different of what the average black metal sound represents) and strange piano bridges, the (in my opinion) highest moment on the album gets in the stage. Everything stops, and the violin is left alone with some strange percussion and background noises. A really desolate and passionate melody is played. The bass kicks in, adding a beautiful line. The rhythm section is inspiring. Then the whole band appears (9:43), and you get the chills. It's not something that you choose. Every time you listen, you get them. A piano melody is heard in the back, like asking for permission. The distorted guitar thinks for a bit, and finally lets the piano come in. A beautiful, hard to describe harmony is achieved, showcasing the best of AFOS. Not hard, not fast, not brutal, not noisy. Plain beauty, piano, violin, and metal.

4. Thunder's Cannonade (8:01) (5/5) Bells, strings, and a spring-inspired instrumental section sets the path for this song. Happiness, smiles, and even a bit of nostalgia surrounds the tune. And then the band comes in (around 3:00), without losing that melancholic yet heaven-sent sound. I really wonder how can these guys do it, I really envy their sound. Black metal dismembers all that beauty, growls and blast beats stomp out what was created, and generate a tension unique to AFOS. Instead of finally liberating and breaking that tension, it is yet amplified, with spooky and weird violin high noises. Black metal comes again to stop that, and relief comes at the final section, with powerful and paced riffs, with that violin worthy of gods.

5. Starfire's Memory (11:50) (4/5) A long, almost futuristic ambient intro is heard, that transforms into a spacey and lengthy dark riff. Maybe the most obscure song in the album, it features some goth female singing, that create those amazing harmonies typical of AFOS. Another instrumental break that comes alive with notable drum fills, and the darkest black metal riff of the album finishes the song.

6. Delay's Progression (16:28) (5/5) Tech-strings start this song, the longest intro of the album. Female whispers and chorused guitars are heard. Then a classic guitar with strings comes in, just to get smashed with brutal chords. However, some strange, sci-fi-ish background noise is present. And then you understand what they were trying to tell you. The voices are all technologic, like a post-acopalyptic auto-tune, that fits so well with the riff being played. It suddenly changes to a harshest growl and double-bass drum beat, that is followed with weird percussion, and then with more violin. Then the classic guitar is left alone with the techy-vocals. It sounds so mellow yet dark, in a sinister and futuristic way. Rare, unique, and simply amazing. And we're not done here. A new black metal riff blends in again, with chords that sound weird, until you notice they are not weird. They are triumphant, with choirs and stuff. The end is near. And it ends. In an epic, celestial and heavy way. The last chord is strucked. "That was awesome" you say. But 2 minutes still remain. You hear bells sounding softly because of the wind, and sinister voices in the far background. They come near, and the REAL final chords are played. Chill-inducing, awe-inspiring, final chords, redefining epic. The album comes to a full stop.

I think there's not much more to say. Pay full close attention to every second of the record, you never know what fine detail will get you. An album crafted by experts, indeed.

5/5.

TheOppenheimer | 5/5 |

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