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Fornost Arnor biography
FORNOST ARNOR are a progressive metal band formed in 2005 in Colchester, England. An unissued symphonic black metal EP, "In Darkness We Rise", was recorded by the original line-up of Greg CHIVERS, York STREET and Jeremy J. ELVIN. Drummer Jay PRICE joined for a solitary gig before the band disbanded a year later. The band reformed with a new line up in 2008 and recorded their first album, clearly moving their sound into progressive metal territory while retaining the extreme metal groundings of the original incarnation of the band.

Their first album "Escaping The Abyss" was released in 2009 and combines death and black metal with progressive rock structures and flourishes that references bands such as Opeth and Enslaved. The album was self-released on the band's own label, Witch-King Records, continuing the Tolkien theme of the band's name. Mixing black and death vocals with clean and heavy passages with acoustic, the album picked up a good number of positive reviews from metal and progressive rock sites alike.

FORNOST ARNOR's second album "Death of a Rose" is due for release on 11 July on Witch-King Records, and moves the band's music further in a progressive direction. The album features guest vocal performances by Elle TORRY and John PHIPPS.

As of 2011 FORNOST ARNOR is a four piece, comprising of Greg CHIVERS on vocals, guitar & acoustic guitar, Will HALL on lead guitar, Sam AUSTEN on bass guitar & clean vocals and James LAST on Drums, who replaced Ant DEANE, the drummer on the first release.

(Biography by Bosh66)

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5.00 | 1 ratings
Escaping the Abyss
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Death Of A Rose

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 The Death Of A Rose by FORNOST ARNOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 3 ratings

The Death Of A Rose
Fornost Arnor Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'The Death Of A Rose' - Fornost Arnor (7/10)

For any others who may have expressed regret about Opeth's shift away from extreme metal this year, it seems as if there is a band that seeks to carry on their torch. Fornost Arnor is a progressive metal act from the UK, and after some underground acclaim with their debut record 'Escaping The Abyss', they are back two years later with a new album that shows them tightening up their sound on the technical front. Although Fornost Arnor sound a little too close in sound to Opeth for comfort, the way they are able to take the style of another band and cater it to their own interests is impressive.

'The Death Of A Rose' starts off on its best note, and an incredible one at that with 'Rogue', an incredible song that begins off with brooding acoustic guitars and some powerfully moving vocal duties shared between a male and female. The acoustic minutes sound like something that could have been plucked from Opeth's 'Still Life', particularly the mellow section of their song 'Godhead's Lament'. The melodies and lyrics are beautiful and I found myself putting down everything I was doing when I heard 'Rogue' for the first time. As the music builds up to the inevitable metal fury, Fornost Arnor shifts gears and goes for... Opeth, circa 'Blackwater Park'. Sensing a pattern here?

Truth be told, I can almost applaud Fornost Arnor for drawing so heavily upon Opeth, because with many parts here, it is if they have made a long lost Opeth album that could have come out in between 'Still Life' and 'Blackwater Park'. Even when it comes down to the jazz-tingled metal solos or the precise guitar tones, Fornost Arnor seem to do everything they can to sound like Opeth. While I can say nothing about the bands originality (or utter lack thereof), they pay homage to the Swedish metal gods brilliantly. Sadly, the songwriting is not as memorable after 'Rogue', although the closing track 'Farewell' gets the brilliant melodies back in full swing.

As far as production goes, things can be heard clearly, and the acoustic sections here are mixed with a very organic and natural feel to them. When it comes to the death metal though, I would have less good things to say about them. The rather muffled and dry growls are mixed too highly, and the musicianship can get quite technical (something Fornost Arnor actually does better than Opeth) but feels a little too restrained for the most part, as if the musicians were far too concerned with making their sound as perfect as possible, rather than simply letting the passion through.

As far as progressive metal goes, it has ironically never been the most original genre, and Fornost Arnor makes no steps to change this pattern. Taken for what they are though, Fornost Arnor takes Opeth's sound and puts their own spin on it, and for the most part, it works quite well. I can see fans of Opeth loving Fornost's work within a heartbeat, and while I don't think I feel right with the derivative nature of this band, they pull off the sound excellently.

Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition.

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