Rating:
8.9
A Forest Of Stars - Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring
1 June 2010


01. Sorrow's Impetus
02. Raven's Eye View
03. Summertide's Approach
04. Thunder's Cannonade
05. Starfire's Memory
06. Delay's Progression


With The Corpse Of Rebirth, A Forest Of Stars split the Black metal scene in half. One camp thought of it a genius, complex masterpiece, the other camp thought of it a pretentious, overly elaborate piece of drivel. I happily pitched my tent in the former camp and praised AFOS for their fresh approach and their attention to detail and imaginary. At the same time, I 'feared' A Forest Of Stars would prove to be one of the bands that would rapidly depart Black metal in favour of stronger, genre-transcending experimentation. Which would not necessarily be a bad thing, but still, we don't want to lose too many worthwhile to non-metal genres. Having a couple of strong, unique and daring extreme acts around is very healthy for our precious little scene.

My fear has turned out to be groundless. At least, for now. Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring is in many ways darker, blacker and stronger than its predecessor.

But let's start with what we already know: Mr Curse still possesses his manic shriek, judging by the wolf-like howl uttered in the opening of "Sorrow's Impetus". He might very well be one of the most hateful shriekers in recent years. He sounds like a crossbreed of Varg, Kvarforth and Marco Kehren, yummy! Something else that's still the same - the odd, estranging vibe. A Forest Of Stars also retained their knack for effortlessly jumping between styles and moods. So far, so good.

As I said, Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring is a much darker album. Its riffs are heavier, doomier than before and the violin is less dominant and more cooperative. It actually sounds a little close to Depressive Black metal at times. Check the opening of "Starfire's Memory" for an example, there's some fantastic ambient darkness to be found there. And just to throw in a nice cliché for good measure, it sounds quite a lot more 'mature' than its predecessor. Yey me for originality. A teeny tiny bit of criticism: it's slightly less adventurous then the debut.

It doesn't take me by surprise as much as the debut that, but that's completely natural of course. A Forest Of Stars has once again released a fresh, unique album that'll stand out for years to come. And as long as bands like this stay within the realms of Black metal, the genre has a bright future. Reach for the stars for A Forest Of Stars!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: A Forest Of Stars
Album: Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring


 



Written on 04.06.2010 by
Lucas
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
More reviews by Lucas ››



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!J.O.O.E.! - 04.06.2010 at 22:00  
You've worried me a bit with the DSBM comparison, I'm sure I'll enjoy it though.
Got Mayhem? - 04.06.2010 at 22:31  
Cheesy ending
Sounds interesting though, definitely something to check out.
Ag Fox - 04.06.2010 at 23:38  
>Cheesy ending
+1
but thanks for the review
Lucas - 04.06.2010 at 23:39  
Yeah reading back the ending IS cheesy. Sorry guys. Excuse me while I blast Manowar.
Ag Fox - 05.06.2010 at 01:56  
Listening to it right now and found your description v accurate as always. I'll probably end up liking this one more than their debut
Troy Killjoy - 05.06.2010 at 02:58  
Thanks for reviewing this - not as good as their debut in my opinion, but it's still a very strong release. Those vocals are just haunting!
the stranger - 05.06.2010 at 07:44  
Has anyone watch the new video they've released? I think it's pretty fucking amazing and goes really well with the music.
Mikyz - 05.06.2010 at 09:43  
Good news, I was also worrying that they would stray from their Black Metal side and experiment some more. As always thanks for the review. But I still didn't decide which I prefer more this or their debut.
Elyar S. - 05.06.2010 at 12:23  
Nice review

Im not a black metal fan, but I like some bands and A Forest of Stars is one of them and I wasnt so patience to listen to their new album. and its nice again as good as their debut and maybe better in some ways. I think they are not an absolute black metal band. "Starfire's Memory" is a pure black metal song? I dont think so. and all of their songs have some special space, I dont know which is better to call, black doom metal? black gothic metal? avant-grade black metal? or as metal archives has written, Psychedelic Black Metal? anyway, genre doesnt matter so much hehe
K†ulu - 05.06.2010 at 12:44  
Opportunistic Thieves of Spring! What a title. I will check it out just because of that. Well, the review makes it sound promising too.
TheBigRossowski - 05.06.2010 at 17:12  
To be honest, I found this album better than the debut. As you wrote, it wasn't as surprising as I expected, but more layered in darkness. Something eerie and pleasing going on in these songs.

Great fucking album, don't hesitate to buy it, Dudes!
TheBigRossowski - 05.06.2010 at 22:48  
Oh yeah, almost forgot!

How does that fire feel running down your back?!

I love ''Thunder's Cannonade'', it's simply perfect!
Mikyz - 11.06.2010 at 18:21  
This is a great album, and this album can only be defined as crushing Black Metal, the riffs are heavy and doomy. On my first listen I actually thought that I was listening to another band by mistake >.< It doesn't bother me that they altered their sound on the contrary I welcome with open arms fresh and original outputs.
!J.O.O.E.! - 11.06.2010 at 18:32  
Still haven't listened to this. It took me about 6 months to get around to listening to their first one after getting so it'll probably be the same with this one. I opted against getting the shirt as I realised how uncool it would look wearing a shirt with "A Forest of Stars" written on. I'm all about the cool.
!J.O.O.E.! - 11.06.2010 at 20:02  
Three words spring to mind with this album: Dense, Intense and Immense.

I was going to say that the style on this and the previous album are too abstruse to define a clear winner but I think this one has it in the bag. The only conceivable weak track is Starfire's Memory; the first 8 minutes don't work as well for me and neither do the female vocals (yet somehow I like the robotic vocal effect on the final track) but the last 4 minutes make up for it. Best black metal of the year by a longshot and nigh on a perfect album in most respects.
Marcus - 02.03.2011 at 05:12  
Just got around to listening to this. Awesome. Some great atmosphere in here.
InnerSelf - 03.03.2011 at 13:03  
This got my vote for the MS awards after going back and forth between this release and Enslaved's I realized I like this more "and enslaved were going to win anyway "
Apothecary - 02.02.2012 at 16:58  
"Reach for the stars for A Forest Of Stars!" Lol fanboy

But really, great review, and a really interesting band too. I kinda got into these guys after checking out Oranssi Pazuzu, so as quite a fan of out-of-the-box black metal, I'm sure this album will be a worthwhile addition to my collection

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