Friday, 19 August 2016

Forest Silence "The Eternal Winter" (2002)

This short, twenty minute, three track demo is Hungarian Black Metal duo Forest Silence's third before landing a full length record in 2006. Its part of a patchy discography where the tone, aesthetics and style shifts from each release. The previous demo is a collection of dark, weary ambient soundscapes and their one album is very clean and riff driven. This demo however carves itself a niche of sleepy, hellish, atmospheric Black Metal that I could only compare to a few bands, I Shalt Become's "The Pendle Witch Trials" comes to mind, however this release has a lot more aggression, fire and menace about it than the witch trials.

The first two tracks follow a similar structure where the same riffs and patterns play over and over, back and forth while the noisier, less coherent instruments grow the atmosphere that surrounds them. Deep nefarious, windy synths lead the tone as they resonate from behind the other instruments that stand in front. They play singular notes at a distance from one another, letting the attack of the instrument slowly expand out. The drums are rather thin and pasty, lost in the mix however a deep thudding tribal drum makes a distinctive mark on the songs like the heart of darkness pounding away. The guitars alternate between strung out chords and snaky tremolo riffs, they too are thin and buried in the muddy mix. To much effect they compliment and add a density to the synths despite being smoothed by them at times.

Its a low fidelity affair where the messy mix lets the gloomy, unsettling synths create an engrossing atmosphere. The vocals initially feel laughable, cliched weak raspy screams groan out over the instrumental with echoing reverbs. Their balance however works amazing for the music, another snarling malicious voice to strengthen the harrowing atmosphere. The two songs are equally brilliant in their longer run times and to wrap it up a somber and lonesome ambient track leads the demo out.

Its an instrumental track with sweeping synths like winds, a soft murmuring bass and lonely melody calling out over the desolate, baron landscape. It evolves with some acoustic guitar accents and bongo drums playing a soft rhythm. It doesn't aim for a climax but fades away and serves as a calm and solemn unwinding. Another memorable song and merit for a fantastic demo from this obscure Hungarian duo.

Rating: 6/10

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