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A Forest Of Stars - The Corpse Of Rebirth CD (album) cover

THE CORPSE OF REBIRTH

A Forest Of Stars

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.98 | 29 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars The great shapeshifting metal subgenre that we call black metal never ceases to amaze me as it seems utterly adaptable to just about every other stylistic development conceivable. A few short years beyond the second wave's domination of the early 90s, bands were branching off like a canopy off the trunk of a tree and becoming less and less like what anyone would've conceived as for metal music several years prior. A FOREST OF STARS is yet another band that continued the fertile grounds of cross-pollinating musical genres into a completely different beast altogether. Founded in 2007 in Leeds, England and named after a British Gentlemen's Club, this band has concocted an interesting blend of post-black metal infused with classical, folk and psychedelia.

The band contrasts two seemingly opposing themes as it tackles a rather primeval Pagan ritualistic effect on its Gaian themed debut THE CORPSE OF REBIRTH and much like its paradoxically titled debut, the band members take on Victorian personas with names such as The Gentleman (keyboards, pianoforte, percussion, drums), Mister Curse (vocals), Katie Stone (vocals, violin, flute) and Mr. T.S. Kettleburner (vocals, guitar, bass). The contrast between the old world sensibilities brought forth by classical fortified constructs inspired by Ralph Vaughan Williams with 21st century black metal reminiscent of Dornenreich and Ulver brings out a downright lugubrious and mysterious run of five sprawling tracks that extend to the cosmos and back.

Of the five tracks only one falls below the ten minute mark at a "shortened" time run of nine and a half minutes. The opening track "God" takes its sweet time to warm up before it closes at the sixteen and a half minute mark. The track characterizes the band's overall atmospheric post-black style that exhibits a melancholic violin presence throughout the album immediately bringing the somewhat similar sound that My Dying Bride accomplishes in a doom metal context. Indeed A FOREST OF STARS does implement doom metal aspects at times to their music but for the most part the post-metal aspects deliver a steady flow of repetitive tremolo picked riffs and thunderously distorted chords that ratchet up the tension and climax as the distorted black metal guitar riffs aggressively bob up and down behind the rather sedated violin, flute and percussive beat.

Perhaps the greatest make or break of the deal comes in the eccentric vocal form of Mister Curse's idiosyncratic delivery of pure lunacy as he sounds as if he's on the verge of a mental breakdown. In this regard the closest analogy is that of the early Summoning albums. It's a strange avant-garde mix of ingredients with lunatic vocals narrating a Pagan concept under the guise of Victorian post- black metal. The underpinning of the music seems to be based in the Vaughan Williams classical inspiration most easily pegged when the piano pieces dominate and the violin wails like a sad cat howling in an alley somewhere in a cold unforgiving city setting. The music does come off a bit like the psychedelic rock of Pink Floyd as well especially when it throws in some drum rolls reminiscent of "The Dark Side Of The Moon," such as on the transition from non-metal to black tremolo picking on "Female."

For a debut album, this one has been released with multiple album covers. There's the initial CD-R red photo album cover with the logo, the white counterpart, a black and white swirl effect version and another limited edition with a white background and floral geometric configuration. This music is surprisingly hypnotic even when it's at its full black metal aggressive glory. The violin never gets buried beneath the din which brings up the amazingly well mixed production job that allows all of the sounds to sound balanced in glorious perfection. Despite the tracks extending to lengthy time runs, the music takes the listener on a journey and doesn't get repetitively dull. It plays itself out and creates psychedelic interludes that naturally fit into the overall theme. This debut from A FOREST OF STARS exemplifies the band's unique approach from the very beginning which has gained it high regards in the experimental atmospheric side of the black metal world.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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