Forest of Shadows - Among the Dormant Watchers (2018)


Any self-respecting Doom/Death Metal fan is definitely aware of the legacy left behind by Forest of Shadows with their releases in the 2000’s. Coming 100% as a surprise to us, Inverse records is now releasing the band’s latest opus: “Among the Dormant Watchers”. Niclas Frohagen is the man behind this one-man band that makes a come back with its signature sound of slow and melancholic songs that will hurt your soul and demoralize you from start to end.

Picking up exactly where the band left off, “Self Inflicted Torment” unleashed the signature style of lush keyboards, moody bass guitar line and crushing growls. This track brings back memories of the band’s earlier works and the cloudy rainy days we listened to those albums for hours. The mood gets bleaker with the beautiful opening to “Drowned by Guilt”, which slowly descends into misery and devastation. While bands like Clouds, Shape of Despair and Skepticism take misery and despair in music to new levels, there is something about the rawness of Forest of Shadows that keeps drawing us to their music.

“Lost Within” has a nice and playful tone to start, that develops into an early Saturnus-esque piece filled with moody guitars and a nice contrasting combination of clean and harsh vocals.Our favorite track in this release is the punishing “Dogs of Chernobyl” and its somber distorted guitars. Repetition is an art form and Forest of Shadows showcases their mastery in this release. “We, the Shameless” is an interesting piece that features a more stripped down approach with its clean vocals and it’s slow building pace that reaches a majestic cathartic high point.

The atmospheric elements of “Lullaby” make this song another brilliant piece that nicely rounds up the album with the 14-minute behemoth “Yours to Devour”. This last song has a certain Mournful Congregation vibe, both in terms of how cruel and punishing it is, and the long duration. Overall, we are quite pleased with the return of Niclas and Forest of Shadows. “Among the Dormant Watchers” instantly erases those 10 years without an album and brings back this band as one of our favorites. Appealing to old-school Death/Doom Metal fans, you can not miss this release. Now we just hope that Ningizzia also comes back with a new album soon.

Bands: Forest of Shadows Album: Among the Dormant Watchers

Label: Inverse Records

Release: December 7th, 2018

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Genre: Melodic Doom/Death Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 94/100

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