Review Summary: Opportunistic thieves of style, genre, culture, and other non-kitchen-sink materials (wait... is that a faucet?)
Q: What do you do if you like wearing ruffles, lace, and pretension but you're not into power metal or Meatloaf? A: Make a sprawling post-black opus trimmed with pretty instrumental flourishes and falsified 19th century origins.
Black metal is certainly a touchstone for Opportunistic Thieves of Spring - nothing else buzzes with overdriven chords, thuds with galloping double bass, and howls like a second coming of Silencer - but these six long tracks are not the blistering blasphemies of Gorgoroth or the lo-fi scourges of Burzum. A Forest of Stars weave themes both pastoral and destructive around each song's majestic emotional arc. "Summertide's Approach" opens with a quaint string 'n' keys dance routine before dropping into what sounds like a demon's interrogation chamber, and "Thunder's Cannonade" follows a procession of mournful violins for much of its runtime. Not that heaviness is an afterthought - there's some very satisfying chugging throughout "Sorrow's Impetus" and devastating drums on "Raven's Eye View" - but more often than not, flute or piano melodies build on top of the sawed-off chord progressions, while violins drone or lilt alongside. Then, as if all the quirks of earlier moments were never there at all, the expansive throb of "Starfire's Memory" and slow growth of "Delay's Progression" invite some serious meditation on darkness and depth.
Thieves does not endear nor reveal itself quickly or easily, and it is often a confusing piece of work. Maybe there are a few too many ideas engaged on this recording, or maybe I'm just too dumb to assimilate them all. Either way, Thieves should be sonically compelling enough to invite repeated listens by adventurous ears, and it should probably be passed over by those looking for undiluted demolition.