Dark Forest - Oak, Ash & Thorn review



Reviewer:
8.0

22 users:
7.18
Band: Dark Forest
Album: Oak, Ash & Thorn
Release date: April 2020


01. Ælfscýne
02. Wayfarer's Eve
03. The Midnight Folk
04. Relics
05. Avalon Rising
06. Oak, Ash & Thorn
07. The Woodlander
08. Eadric's Return
09. Heart Of The Rose


Three sacred trees in English folklore. The fallen warriors through its history. Iron Maiden meeting Elvenking. Need I say more?

Well I mean criticize me for being Eurocentric and all, but I think the British Isles have some damn interesting history. I can't be bothered to remember who was a Tudor, a Stuart, or a Plantagenet, but I have listened to enough Winterfylleth and Forefather. Obviously that is not my only claim at being familiar with the subject, but I never knew I needed some metal that is so strongly centered around English folklore and history, but that isn't in any way black metal. Even the folk metal that is here, is pretty far removed from the pagan folk often melded with black in what we call "Viking Metal" even if it barely has anything to do with Vikings. But ask the men living in Canute's time if British history has nothing to do with Vikings. But even so, what a better band to emulate when going through England's history, than the most iconic English metal band of all?

I honestly can't really imagine a Judas Priest or Motörhead or Black Sabbath inspired folk metal album. Ok, maybe the latter. But nothing fits better than Iron Maiden. Now I don't mean to say that the similarities are that damning, but there is plenty of traditional NWOBHM riffing, and most of all the Dickinson-like vocals are hard to overlook, but Dark Forest do have more than that in this heavy/folk/power mixture. A lot of it does sound quite similar to a lot of other power folk bands, for example the one I mentioned in the intro, though not exactly THAT much. I admit I didn't dive that much into Dark Forest's previous output, but Oak, Ash & Thorn saving grace is the band's ability to convey folklore without the use of folkloric instruments.

Look at the cover art. They've always had great cover arts, but something about it makes me relate to their history and folklore. I mean forget Thatcher, the relentless imperialism, and SImon Cowell. The cover art gives it all a new perspective. I was going to mention how I think at least part of the album should be a bit rougher and grimmer, especially since all of history isn't exactly sunshine and roses and warriors ready to give their lives. People throughout history have suffered quite enormously. But this doesn't remind me of that. This makes me think of a people that "shall fight on the beaches, shall fight on the landing grounds, shall fight in the fields and in the streets, shall fight in the hills; shall never surrender". And the album doesn't even make any reference to anything more modern than whenever Barry Lyndon takes place. But it's that spirit that seems to have engulfed romans, celts, saxons, norsemen and normans who fought on those lands. And it's a spirit that Oak, Ash & Thorn showcases completely. And I promise this is the last time I praise the damn Brits this much.

Sure, I could go into more detail about how they managed to make some interesting long epic songs, but whatever. What stuck to me after listening to this album isn't how great the songwriting was, even though it was pretty good. It's how it made me feel.


 



Written on 23.05.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 107 users
23.05.2020 - 11:17
nikarg
Mod
I hear a lot more of a Skyclad than an Elvenking influence tbh. This is a very enjoyable album for me, the longer songs stand out, especially the title track.
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23.05.2020 - 12:01
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 23.05.2020 at 11:17

I hear a lot more of a Skyclad than an Elvenking influence tbh. This is a very enjoyable album for me, the longer songs stand out, especially the title track.

To be honest you probably know this better than me.
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- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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23.05.2020 - 12:33
nikarg
Mod
Written by RaduP on 23.05.2020 at 12:01

To be honest you probably know this better than me.

Maybe, but I am glad you did it either way
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24.05.2020 - 22:57
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by nikarg on 23.05.2020 at 11:17

I hear a lot more of a Skyclad than an Elvenking influence tbh. This is a very enjoyable album for me, the longer songs stand out, especially the title track.

Try waylander even its band from ulster, good folk black
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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24.05.2020 - 22:58
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Radu if you talk about British folklore you should say tva korbies.

Did sirguyfromgozborn dis marionchick... Well i love British and European history, dark ages
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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