Thursday, 17 March 2016

Alphabetical Discovery - Week F, Day Two: A Forest of Stars

A Forest of Stars - Photo

Carrying the essence of Victorian occult beliefs, superstitions and squalor, A Forest of Stars traveled backward and then forward in time to unleash their distinctive approach to extreme metal; theirs is a theatrical mix of black-metal, psychedelic, 70's-esque prog-rock, and classical, though pinpointing their sound is ultimately proves futile and dissatisfying. Nothing really comes close to matching the inherent English morbidness of their sound - tortured vocalist Mister Curse croaks, croons and delivers his vocals in a vernacular straight from the streets of Victorian England, a stage-magician terrifying superstitious crowds. With seven members and the regular use of pianofortes, peculiar percussion, violins, and flutes, A Forest of Star's sound is grand - a swirling incantation of subtle and beautiful melodies and folk sections that lure a listener in counteracted by the gritty and sordid. At its foundation their black-metal approach is very well-done, take 'Blaze of Hammers' from their most recent fourth album Beware The Sword You Cannot See as an example of the evil and unforgiving intensities that snarl through their miserably beautufk sound  - they never forget their roots; twinned to their black-metal is a death-obsessed, vitriolic and melancholic approach to album concepts and lyrics. Their lyrics carry the music as much as the instrumentals themselves, they are extremely imaginative and, matched with the idiosyncratic vocal delivery, they create a truly unique atmosphere unlike anything I've really listened to before.

The accused are great in number,
though if you'd kind enough to line them up, 
I could find it in me to fire the shots.
Temples holed by misplaced homily.
Nails all lined up to support heads lording over spikes of infamy.

Your alter-ego can dig the pit.
Then, once it's lined with silent bones, 
we can stir the ghosts around.
Perhaps take their powder as salve.
Though it'll perish your thoughts, I'll tell you.

Curiosity pushed you in, face first on top of all the others.
So let's roll the old worm ball down another cerebral hill,
Bone over wire / racing the funeral pyre.
                                                                  ('Virtus Sola Invicta')

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