Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dark Forest - Dawn Of Infinity

Dark Forest
Dawn Of Infinity
Cruz Del Sur Music

Dudley (U.K.) based outfit Dark Forest have been around for some years, with no less than three E.P.’s and one full-length (2009’s self-titled effort through Eyes Like Snow Records) emerging from the band over the nine years they’ve been together to date. You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of the band until now, given that almost everything they have released has been on fairly small independent labels. But after several years building up a name for themselves, Dark Forest (Who since 2009, have consisted of vocalist Will Lowry-Scott, guitarists Jim Lees and Christian Horton (Who was briefly a guitarist in N.W.O.B.H.M. act Cloven Hoof, and also dabbles in the acoustic folk outfit Grene Knyght), ex-Excalibur bassist Paul Thompson and drummer Adam Sidaway) have secured the services of the well and truly established Cruz Del Sur Music, who have duly released the band’s sophomore effort ‘Dawn Of Infinity’.
In a lot of ways, the pairing up of Dark Forest and Cruz Del Sur Music makes perfect sense. After all, Cruz Del Sur Music specialises in classic heavy/power metal music (Acts such as Argus, Slough Feg, Twisted Tower Dire, Pharaoh and Atlantean Kodex are just some of the label’s more recent acquisitions), and then there’s Dark Forest – who excel at reviving the classic N.W.O.B.H.M. (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal), without sounding like they’re trying too hard to sound retro, or cloning early Iron Maiden and Angel Witch to the point of sheer plagiarism.
The opening track ‘Hourglass’ is an energetic anthem that immediately showcases the great voice Lowry-Scott brings to the band since joining a couple of years ago (He was introduced to listeners via 2009’s three track ‘Defender’ E.P. through Iron Kodex Records), and his ability to craft some memorable melodies around the band’s classic traditional heavy metal/guitar driven song structures.
Elsewhere, ‘The Green Knight’ and ‘Under The Greenwood Tree’ are further firm favourites with their infectious melodies and subtle folk influences from the guitarists, while ‘Seize The Day’, ‘Through A Glass Darkly’ and ‘Black Delta’ are absolute thumping anthems that boast the classic metal riffing that you would expect from a N.W.O.B.H.M. act, but with just a touch of power metal to add a little more power to their sound – without making the band’s sound too generic or too modernised.
Although ‘Dawn Of Infinity’ does have a couple of songs that don’t quite work as well, Dark Forest have managed to produce a very impressive album overall.
If you enjoy classic N.W.O.B.H.M. that doesn’t bow to modern day influences, then don’t look past Dark Forest’s latest effort. This album really does rock, and is a thoroughly enjoyable trip down memory lane into metal’s golden era.

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© Justin Donnelly