Released 2001 on Rage of Achilles.
I have no idea about members.
This is a 3 track EP, and, as far as I know, the first official release from this Swedish band. It comes in at just over 30 minutes, which isn't bad for an EP. One of the first thing I noticed is that the title and track names seem determined to hit every doom cliche imaginable - eternal, dreams, sorrow, "turn to dust", blue, autumn..I was a little sceptical because of that, but I'm glad they didn't put me off.
starts off the album with a minute of melancholic, folky flute. This pretty much sets the tone for the entire disc - melodic, bleak and epic. About a minute in, the song starts properly with a very heavy, slow, rhythmic guitar, which forms the basis of most of the rest of the song. There's a suggestion of strings in the background, but they are somewhat buried by the intensity of the guitar and the vocals, which here are of the doom-death variety. This gives way a couple of minutes later to melodic, gently sung My Dying Bride vocals and beautiful, lightly picked guitar, which in turn returns to the heavy, rhythmic guitars and growled vocals, and this time more pronounced strings. The atmosphere is incredible, and creates a good sense of the epic which this kind of doom can.
is a mid-paced song, which starts with a powerful growl, and again is supported by muscular rhythmic guitar. Growled vocals are the norm for three minutes or so, before a sung section begins in what is, for me, some of the catchiest doom metal I've heard. A lot of the best doom metal is catchy, actually. Ends with some more beautifully picked guitar, almost unrecognisable from the harsh start to the song.
Of Sorrow Blue
is the longest and closing track, at a mighty 11 minutes. It's slightly faster than Wish
, and therefore quite a bit faster than the opening song, but still only mid-paced. As with the previous songs, the guitars weave along their way slowly and melodically, with picked guitar appearing in the background, and overlaid by growling vocals, interspersed with singing. There are tempo changes, so it's not all mid-paced, there are slower sections as well, though it does speed up again towards the end (I say "the end", but it's about 7 minutes in that it does so). The song leads out with strings and picked acoustic guitar, which works really well.
The words which keep coming to my mind to describe this EP are "epic" and "bleak". I remember walking home through the snow once listening to this EP - it fits very well as icy winter music. Forest of Shadows are clearly a band who know how to write a good tune, and more importantly aren't afraid to let people know they can (so they don't write amelodic music just for the hell of it). They're competent musicians, but if you're looking for overt technicality, they won't do much for you. This EP is rather about atmosphere and imagery, and the imagery it calls to mind is icy cold and white. Probably best recommended to fans of My Dying Bride, Forest Stream or (apparently, as a I haven't heard them myself) Katatonia.
3.75/5 - it unfortunately loses some points for being "only" 30 minutes long.