Review Summary: eat your heart out, Jari Mäenpää
Picture this: it’s 2018 and you’re a Wintersun fan. Their 2004 self-titled sits at a cozy 4.5 in your ratings list. Time I
is a few pegs below, and The Forest Seasons
is nowhere to be found. You’re melancholic. You want more folk-infused melodic death. You want epic guitar riffs and melodic synths. You crave raspy screams and lyrics about forests, snow, and celestial bull***. Alas, poor you, a Time II
release date in this lifetime is about as probable as an In Flames comeback album.
After spinning Ensiferum
for the tenth time this week, you load up Spotify and click discover. You spot an album cover depicting a quiet grove by a pond, colored with shades of pink and blue. Hmm, oddly familiar. You hit play, and an orchestral prelude begins.
The album you’ve chosen is the 2-year brainchild of Vienna, Austria newcomers Black Forest. You immediately double check your music player. No, that isn’t Beyond the Dark Sun. That vocalist is not, in fact, Jari Mäenpää. The production is clean and crisp, the keyboards are fantastical, and the guitar mellisonant. The lyrics are riddled with images of trees and moonlight and all that corny goodness. Each song is as catchy as the last, and you soon find yourself immersed in a snowy, melodeathical dreamscape.
Before you know it, the 34-minute long LP fades out. You enjoyed it, however not without a few shortcomings. Maybe you think it’s borderline excessive on the Jari worship, perhaps somewhat uninspired, a little bit of both, whatever. Black Forest isn’t reinventing the wheel here. But that’s fine. They’ve taken that wheel and polished it up nicely. You might not even care that Time II
isn’t coming out anymore, because Dream
scratches that itch real good.