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Friday Stream Sesh

Forest MysticismDemo Collection

Woods of Desolation is finally starting to get some of the credit that they are due—some pre-streaming and early accolades point to WoD’s new album, As the Stars, reaching a broader audience than anything the sort-of one-man band has put out before. The new-found attention led to WoD mastermind D. creating a Bandcamp—that, perhaps, in part due to the fact that As the Stars was illegally uploaded to iTunes by a third party, so don’t buy it from Apple, buy it from WoD’s bandcamp.

In addition to uploading the entire Woods catologue, D.’s also uploaded some rarities from other projects he’s worked with in the past, including this incredible collection he put out, solo, under the name of Forest Mysticism over five years. Forest Mysticism’s plays anthemic lo-fi black metal that’s surprisingly dense—despite the lo-fi qualifier, these riffs and deep, guttural vocal belches have some real heft to them. (The production at time reminds me of some Rhinocervs releases.) The player above will start you out with “A Nation Drenched In Blood,” an excellent, sorrowful yet triumphant introduction to Forest Mysticism, but stick around for the other twelve songs for an immersive trek through some of the most memorable and emotive black metal I’ve heard in some time. I can’t stress the vocal performances, awash in distortion and disgust, enough—this is not to be missed. For those keeping track of who D. has worked with over the years, tracks 6-10 on this collection feature guest vocals and instrumentation by Old of Drohtnung who provides vocals on WoD’s new album, As the Stars.

FluisteraarsDromers

FluisteraarsDromers had me hooked after about 15 seconds of listening—it was one of those rare albums that got better at every turn, each movement falling into place like a dream. Combining the rock sensibilities of Agalloch with a bit more roughness around the edges, these three catchy songs manage to carve out a space in the atmospheric black metal genre that readily calls to mind greats like Woods of Desolation, Agalloch, Drudkh and a pinch of early Alcest but isn’t derivative. There’s some more old school stuff going on, too–listen to the end of “Wortels Van Angst” and you’ll get more of a classic black metal sound, a bit of a stripped down Emperor vibe. Fluisteraars is from The Netherlands, and Dromers is the three-piece’s first album after two demos—it’s a bit greedy to say it as Dromers just came out, but I can’t wait to see what’s to come from Fluisteraars.

Sorcier des Glaces – “Morbit Ritual”

Sorcier des Glaces has been churning out ripping atmospheric black metal since 1997, making the band an early runner in the killer Quebecois scene. SDG plays a highly melodic stylized take on black metal, one that’s as aggressive and informed by the tenants of the genre as it is filled with grandiose ambition, trills and acrobatic transitions. No such thing as slowing down, here—this is a sprint to the finish. If you’ve got a passing knowledge of French, you’ll note that the band name translates to “Wizard of Ices,” and the band plays “primitive cold black metal” that often lyrically references the cold stuff—fitting, as much of the US has been stuck in a seemingly endless winter. “Morbid Ritual” is off Ritual of the End and is out soon on Obscure Abhorrence Productions.

— Wyatt Marshall

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