Never judge a band’s sound by what their countrymen sound like. Sure there can be some overlap in sound, similar themes or motifs. But never dismiss any band because of how another sounds from the same area. “Inspired by Shadows” the very long await work from Dark Forest is an album that some might sleep on and that’s a bloody shame because this is an album that deserves some careful consideration and very loud speakers.
It’s not a very long album, sadly, but within a short space of time Dark Forest shows exactly the kind of brutality, musical proficiency, and talent they have. The flow of song to song is superb, they toe the line in making the album one long song but the songs each over their own distinct melodies and each of them stand out in their originality.
I was not expecting the level of production from this band. Seeing that it was black metal I expected just enough to make the sound atmospheric, I was very wrong. The production on this album deserves top marks, each instrument, even the bass, is clear and precise. There’s not a lot of feedback that muddles it all until only the guitars are audible. Each part adds to the whole to make a great cohesive album. The drums are blaze and match the temp of the guitars as well. The vocals are out of this world, there’s nasty snarling, then there’s this. It’s creepy and raspy but intelligible, it’s not garbled shit that isn’t supposed to be heard or understood, the lyrics are actually important. Who would have thought?
I think my favorite parts of the album (aside for the great punctuating bits of ambient background noise) was the melodies. They are moving and technical, much more than I would have expected from a relatively straight forward black metal. And even though they play straight forward black (with great melodies interspaced between the riffs) they play it well. They aren’t a copy band; they play their own version of black metal. What you hear on the album is their own. That alone, the ability to play, not to sound like anyone else, exactly what they want.
It’s been fifteen years since they last put out an album (another gem but that’s for another day), they’ve had plenty of time to stew in the Mexican heat. This album is visceral, bloody, and black. Grab some lengua tacos and some horchata for this.