An underrated aspect of the EP format--consistently beloved and well respected 'round these parts--is the opportunity to focus on the elements of one's craft that doesn't always fit in the formal confines of an album proper. As such, a shorter release is a form of expression that often feels more loose and more exploratory. In the case of Forever Autumn's forthcoming 3-track, Hail The Forest Dark, the intrinsic informality of the release allows, in the words of Autumn Ni Dubhghail, the space for a "temporary departure" from the band's traditional work--namely, an amalgamation of acoustic doom/blackened folk.
Needless to say: as someone who enjoys witnessing these little tangents in an artist's overall catalog, I'm a sucker for releases that don't feel the need to overload the audience with an abundance. I'm also a sucker for premièring cool music, and "Amoung the Roots," today's track in question, certainly fits, well, both bills.
Without further ado, give it a listen below. As always, we'll meet ye on the other side!
"Amoung the Roots" sits squarely in the center of Hail The Forest Dark, and feels like a prime exemplar of the "temporary departure" of which the band's mastermind speaks. Equally raw and dramatic in a notably whimsical way, this track features blackened-yet-discernable vocals over a buzzy and fuzzy doom-laden trot. It is distinctly heftier than prior Forever Autumn work, fully embracing a sense of gloom that effectively recalls an untamed forest in the dead of night. The instrumentation is doomy and dour, while the vocals, in contrast, are sharp and assertive. It's a very nice balance, and frankly one that I wish was a little more common in both the all-too-oft disparate worlds of doom and black metal.
Most notably, this track sets a scene that feels entirely tangible. The atmosphere is claustrophobic but not suffocating, while the composition itself, which leans heavily on that omnipresent guitar, is delightfully organic without feeling unstructured or sparse. The track's strongest moment, however, occurs at the tail end--the exhaled uttering of the track's title is, dare I say, a little bit spooky. It is the kind of emotive flair that seldom goes amiss.
If you're new to Forever Autumn, I encourage using this track and forthcoming EP as a point of departure for a little back catalog spelunking. On the other hand, you're familiar with Forever Autumn's prior work, this is a change, but not a change that alienates or feels unprecedented, and that's a success in my book.
Forever Autumn - Hail The Dark Forest will be released Sept. 3rd, 2021.Pre-order it here!
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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