Forest Stream - The Crown of Winter (2009)


Have you ever wondered what a band with multiple personality disorder (MPD) would sound?, well look no further since Forest Stream has a very interesting case of MPD.“The Crown Of Winter” features 4 tracks of amazing Gothic Death/ Doom Metal, 2 tracks of Melodic Black Metal (Emperor style) and one intro and one outro tracks.

While the band excels at both styles, it’s still pretty weird to listen to such a shocking change from one song to the other!. Luckily for them I’m not a genre purist and only reviews one type of music well and trashes the rest, since this would have been very negative for this amazing release.

While the intro and outro tracks are just fillers in my opinion but help set the mood, I will review the Gothic Doom personality of the band first. The tracks “The Crown Of Winter”, “Mired” and “Autum Dancers” are a perfect example of what Gothic Death /Doom Metal is all about, they create a very depressing atmosphere with lavish keyboards, mournful guitars and brutal growls add some melancholic clean vocals and you have a masterpiece in this genre. All three tracks clock in around 30 minutes and are the biggest chunk of the album.

The band’s perfect mixture of influences makes their sound very depressive and brutal a rare find these days, all band members are clearly influenced by old school My Dying Bride and Katatonia just to name a few.

Now for the Melodic Black Metal personality of the band, the two tracks “Bless You To Die” and “The Seventh Symphony of Satan” sound exactly like what Emperor was doing in their last album. The mixture of keyboard overtones, awesome guitar work, restless drumming and a combination of harsh and clean vocals is a hard thing to compose and pull of correctly but Forest Stream excels at it.

Both BM songs total 17 minutes but they are strategically placed in the album to completely change the pace of things and in a way destroy the depressive feeling achieved be the songs prior to them.

As a whole this band is probably trying to do something original by combining two genres into the album, but it’s just too odd to listen to such changes in the music. While they are great musicians, they should focus in playing only one style or merging both into a style of their own, not do a copy a paste job and screw up the flow of the album.

I really enjoyed “The Crown Of Winter” but I was annoyed by the un announced change of pace, this release would probably appeal to fans of both genres looking for something different, or with a very big open mind.

Band: Forest Stream Album: The Crown of Winter
Label: Candlelight Records USA

Release: August 11, 2009

Official Site myspace
Genre: Gothic Death/Doom Metal

Country: Russia

Rating: 90/100

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