Midnight Odyssey
Forest Mourners


4.5
superb

Review

by Brandon Scott USER (101 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2010 | 12 replies | 5,474 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Australia has never really been the breeding grounds for great black metal. Sure, they have a few gems, such as blackened death sickos Portal and the one man atmospheric black metal outfit Drowning the Light, but overall, the country has a very low standing in terms of producing quality black metal. With no grim, frostbitten mountains and mystic, troll infested forests, one can't blame them for no being able to reach the same chilling atmosphere that is usually spawned from the Scandinavian/Eastern European scene. Of course there are always exceptions to the rules, and in this case, it is the 2007 formed ambient black metal band Midnight Odyssey, whose debut release Forest Mourners not only perfectly replicates the cold atmosphere usually reserved for the bands up north, but perfect it.

It is sole member Dis Pater's use of the keyboard that really drives Forest Mourners to be a standout record. Take, for instance the song "Journey Across The Stars"; the song starts with nothing more than a simple yet haunting acoustic guitar progression, backed by epic, and soothing atmospherics. Adding choral chants, the first experience with Dis Pater vocals is a pleasant one indeed as his layered, echoed vocals bring an almost folk influenced aspect to the music. As the sound of the keys begins to slowly dissipate, dissonant guitars make there entrance, and bringing a tone of anxiety, a drastic difference from the quite soothing tone that was presented before. As the song progresses, it switches in and out between the more depressing, anxiety filled atmosphere and back into the original acoustic introduction. The strength of the this song and the record overall, is the strength of the atmospherics and their ability to strike at your core, leaving you vulnerable to their many different tones.

Instead of a pristine, crystal clear production, Forest Mourners opts for a more distorted, distant production. It's this kind of production that aids in putting the listener into an almost trance-like state. Take, for instance the instrumental track "Night Spirits" which is played on nothing more than a keyboard and once again incorporates folk overtones for a totally entrancing listen. "Spirit of the Winter Mountain" adds some great diversity to the set of songs, with serene Celtic inspired passages mixed with the traditional choral bellows of Viking Metal and some the dissonant guitars of black metal. Each song, while a melting pot of influences, remains cohesive due to Pater's ingenious use well thought out transitions, that simultaneously divide yet unite different sections of the songs.

Even if your time is precious Forest Mourners is definitely an album that should be checked out. Far from typical, the album is literally a diverse and unique journey that cannot by found listening to other records. With an array of different influences, quality song-writing and a most fitting production, this album nears perfection. While Australia may not be known for much when it comes to black metal, one day, they will certainly be known for the grandeur of Midnight Odyssey.



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user ratings (1)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
April 23rd 2010



16657 Comments


I might rework the conclusion but overall i'm pretty satisfied with this.

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

Relinquished
April 23rd 2010



22313 Comments


Actually found this two days ago during my search for black metal. This is great stuff.

TheSpirit
April 23rd 2010



16657 Comments


Yeah, it's really awesome

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2010



15977 Comments


Besides the fact that the intro is just asking for Rasputin to come in and tear it apart this review is good.

Digging: Tiamat - Wildhoney

TheSpirit
April 23rd 2010



16657 Comments


Haha yeah I was thinking about that...but beside one or two bands i can't really think of a strong Australian BM scene...

Zoo
April 23rd 2010



3759 Comments


Good stuff man, I only heard their 09 album, maybe I'll pick this one up too. I think the Australian bm scene is pretty solid. Off the top of my head, Austere, Destroyer 666, Nazxul, Abyssic Hate, Elysian Blaze, Ne Obliviscaris, Woods of Desolation, and Rookwood all come to mind and I'm probably missing some others.

TheSpirit
April 23rd 2010



16657 Comments


Woods of Desolation and Austere are pretty sick, but i'm not too keen on the others

Hawks
April 23rd 2010



33352 Comments


Great review like always dude. Album sounds awesome.

TheSpirit
April 23rd 2010



16657 Comments


Thanks Hawks. I can see you enjoying this for sure

TheyTookOurJobs
June 6th 2010



1318 Comments


There are lots of forests in Australia!

You should check out the Australian 'Carcharoth'.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 29th 2010



6956 Comments


this is really good

Digging: Wild Beasts - Present Tense

TheSpirit
January 4th 2011



16657 Comments


yeah this rules



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