- Sarah Stubbs
REVIEWED: Forest of Shadows' 'Among the Dormant Watchers'
In the name of art and music, Niclas Frohagen, the one-man wonder that is post-doom band Forest of Shadows, has once more sliced open his veins and let forth red streams of lyrical anguish. Latest album 'Among the Dormant Watchers' is drenched in personal, almost spiritual epiphanies of emotion that shine like sudden illuminations of silvery moonlight in sylvan glades. Ten years in the making and in the finest tradition of Scandinavian doom, this is a melancholic medley of post rock, progressive metal and folk-inspired instrumentals.
The ensuing experience is akin to being deliciously lost, unmoored and in unchartered waters, drifting into dreaming reveries of deepest introspection. Thoughtful moments abound, and insight can be found through immersion in a desolate yet utterly entrancing underworld of intense sound. The soft and undulating 'Drowned by Guilt' is “inspired by a nightmare where I found myself drowning and then from a third person perspective saw my dead body being dragged out of the water by grieving close ones.” The plucked strings ripple like pools of water in a gentle breeze, hinting at secrets hidden in their depths, until keening, slow-burning riffage falls like sheets of rain, and raw, ragged cries of tortured sorrow disturb the frosted air.
'Dogs of Chernobyl' shifts to a headier atmosphere, as heavy, moody guitars explode into cascading, clamorous waterfalls, while 'Self Inflicted Torment' tugs like the throbbing pangs of aching hearts with deliberate, thudding chords and strained, synthetic strings. With 'Lullaby', Frohagen demonstrates the range and breadth of his wild voice with dulcet tones which turn pure and clear as crystal waters for 'We, the Shameless'. 'Yours to Devour' has a harsher, razorblade sharpness, nicking at the skin mercilessly with subtle riffs, hinting at untold grief and the all-absorbing darkness of a watery grave.
Like the dormant watchers of Frohagen’s night terror, this latest oeuvre of oddness weeps and wails at life’s wanton cruelties, yet somehow works to soothe such troubled souls as this.
'Among the Dormant Watchers' is out now on Inverse
Order your copy now here