A Forest of Stars - Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes (2018)


Unleashing one of the most disturbing and yet highly original and complex releases of 2018, today we have A Forest of Stars and their fifth full-length release “Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes”. As a total cacophony, the band delivers over 64 minutes of chaotic Black Metal that features so many different layers, making a very complex album to fully digest. We love these types of release were you keep finding new little things with each time you listen to a track, never fully revealing themselves to the listener until a great effort is made.

Setting a very lively mood with the album intro track, the band fully explodes into madness with the harsh vocals and convoluted riffing of “Precipice Pirouette”. With dramatic violins serving as highlights to a very dense and powerful wall of sound, this track has an unnerving pace that induces anxiety and and despair. On “Tombward Bound”, the band splits up the punishment with a somber interlude between a hectic start and a Devil Doll-esque climax that is some of the band’s finest work to date.

The rich and mysterious instrumentation in this release includes violins, flutes and other percussion elements that allows the band to craft unique passages like the brilliant opening of “Premature Invocation”. This bipolar track blends some heavy riffs with moody bass guitar lines that craft a ominous vibe full of mystery and mischief. Going into some periods of sheer madness, “Children of the Night Soil” is definitely the heaviest and most diverse track in this release, keeping you at the edge of your seat.

Katie Stone’s vocals on tracks like “Taken by the Sea” greatly enhance the musical experience, adding an angelic element to the caustic nature of the band’s ‘heavy and fast’ sections, as hear on the blistering “Scripturally Transmitted Disease”. Saving the best for last, the futuristic atmospheric elements of “Decomposing Deity Dancehall” are truly haunting and intoxicating, with a certain 80’s vibe, this track is brilliant and by far our most favorite piece the band has ever written.

Taking us more than 10+ listens to really dissect and digest “Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes”, we are left beyond satisfied with the band’s latest opus. Always pushing the envelope and everytime writing more emotional and unique soundscapes, A Forest of Stars is one of the most magical and engaging bands in Metal. If you want to be blown away with a mixture of elements of bands like Elend and Devil Doll, this release has everything a lover of experimental Black Metal will ever want, and a very high replay value.

Bands: A Forest of Stars Album: Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes

Label: Prophecy Productions

Release: Septmebr 28th, 2018

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Genre: Atmospheric/Experimental/Psychedelic Black Metal

Country: UK

Rating: 95/100

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