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English troupe A Forest of Stars have returned, and they're as esoteric as ever -- their brand of vocal-driven, self-proclaimed "Victorian" black metal always presents itself as a rare gem. This band is not a novelty, though, not by any measure; on their upcoming album Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes, their penchant long, howling passages of avant-garde poeticism build themselves upon a complex and meandering black metal structure as oranges-worthy as ever. And when the moment is right, the band knows how to hit hard, laying out superbly synchronized passages of heavily-layered black metal with an air of effortlessness. To get in on the action, check out a full stream of Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes before its Friday release date below.

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As expected, A Forest of Stars delivers an immense onslaught of instrumentation (including flute and piano) throughout this new album's hour-long runtime -- this time around, though, we have an historically epic vocal performance which escalates the music's raw passion, creating tumultuous lows and ecstatic highs heretofore unheard. Between Mister Curse's pained, almighty cries and the band as a furious but entirely synchronous atmosphere creation machine, there's enough emotional content on Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes to lead a full life's journey. Indeed, this is an album for journeying: imagining yourself a long way from home, a long way from anywhere else. Getting lost in its breadth is one thing, but to get lost in its depth is another.

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Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes releases Friday via Prophecy Productions. Follow the band on Facebook.

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