Year of release: 2019
Released by: Werewolf Records
Rating: 8,4 / 10
I've get to know DRUADAN FOREST recently, thanks to the split with THE TRUE WERWOLF. The track from Werewolf on that disc seemed rather boring to me, but DRUADAN FOREST with its 22-minute work left a pleasant impression. And then came the third full-length album.
Basically, all you need to know about DRUADAN FOREST is that it's a brainchild of the creator of VARGRAV. The track record of the musician has more than 10 names, but one VARGRAV is enough to understand what kind of music DRUADAN FOREST plays. The early works of the project combined ambient with tolkienist metal, but now it focused on clean (proud, beautiful, epic) ambient, which I do not want to call “dungeon synth” not even because of my dislike of this term, but simply because DRUADAN FOREST's music takes place, let’s say, in the open air. However, the album does not at all try to move far from the classic synth landscapes of the mid-late 90s. If the first track, similar, for example, to the work of THANGORODRIM, can be a little puzzling at first, then on the second track everything falls into place. This is an amazingly atmospheric and beautiful thing about winter, which occasionally dangles a couple of centimeters from BURZUM plagiarism, but it still fills the soul with strong feelings. Further as on the thumb: canonical material in a new frame. The magical landscapes of the forgotten dragonrealm- well, you understand.
“Dismal Spells ... Part I” stands out for its manicly thorough approach to music. Firstly, the sound quality is absolutely perfect here. For me, this is a dubious merit, but hey, someone must do this from time to time. Moreover, this is the sound of a real synthesizer, and not ... a synthesizer synthesized on a computer. Secondly, the author seeks to maximize the use of the instrument, adding different effects and simulating wind, string, percussion, and sometimes the whole orchestra at once. However, he does not abuse it, leaving most of the space for the usual ambient, and I thank him for that. Thirdly, the musician overcome the sin of laziness, which so often defeats his colleagues in the scene. The album consists of four huge tracks, and it seems that any other person would have acted in the only right way: wrote the main melody for each track, and then twist for 20 minutes until the teeth ache. But V-Khaoz is not like that: his compositions are finished musical canvases with intros, main parts, interludes, author's digressions, endings, epilogues ... Each fragment of any of the compositions stretches long enough to be memorable, but not so much to bother you. 72 minutes of material are not tiresome at all - you immediately want to return to them again. Here, propbably, I should roll off. Take an album, run your imagination engine at least at first gear, and you will have a pleasure comparable to reading your favorite fantasy saga.