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Review: Old Forest - Mournfall
Old Forest

Label: D.T.M. Productions
Year released: 2021
Duration: 58:12
Tracks: 12
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: April 11, 2021
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 4.33/5 (86.67%) (3 Votes)

I got this band's debut, Into the Old Forest, in the first year that I started listening to black metal, so some 21 years ago. I liked it from the first listen and, even though I now own more black metal albums than I dare count, Into the Old Forest remains an album that I put on every now and then. I figure, when you own 7000+ albums, if you find time to go back to a specific one repeatedly, that's saying something. The albums that followed, None More Black, Dagian and Black Forest of Eternal Doom, failed to grab me. The band was experimenting and their sound was light years away from that of the debut. I've been revisiting them since getting Mournfall last month and they've kind of grown on me, so maybe the reviews will come. Moving on...

Mournfall, like its three predecessors, is quite different from the band's debut, but it did grab me from the first listen. It's largely slow to mid-paced, melancholic and there's a doomy vibe that makes it feel so heavy, it's crushing at times. There's a cold and dark atmosphere throughout that reminds me a little of what many of the darkest—yet melodic—Quebec black metal bands have been doing it for a few years, unleashing feelings of despair while giving out a bit of a rocking, ever-so-subtle rocking vibe that takes you by surprise. Mournfall is much more refined than what they did in the past, showing a band that's constantly evolving with a fuller sound and more complex songwriting. I won't go as far as to say that this is as good as their debut (to me, it's not—your mileage may vary), but I think the band has reached a point where their songwriting can adopt a more "artsy" approach but also incorporate some of the rawer and creepier vibe of their debut, and it's a winning combination.

The album itself is eight tracks long, but it includes their 2001 unreleased demo, Sussex Hell Hound. Unsurprisingly, being so close to their debut, that stuff got me going, "Oh yeah baby, that's the stuff," because it reminded me of the raw black metal of Into the Old Forest (which, of course, resulted in my giving that one a few more listens—it's the law.) A nice little addition that surprisingly does not disturb the flow of the album despite the different approaches to the genre.

More about Old Forest...
Review: Back into the Old Forest (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Back into the Old Forest (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Black Forests of Eternal Doom (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Dagian (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Into The Old Forest (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: None More Black (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Sutwyke (reviewed by MetalMike)
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