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Review: Forest of Shadows - Six Waves of Woe
Forest of Shadows
Six Waves of Woe

Label: Firebox Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 47:16
Tracks: 6
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 2, 2009
Reviewed by: Brett Buckle
Readers Rating
Six Waves of Woe

Rated 5/5 (100%) (3 Votes)

A couple of years back I discovered Forest of Shadows through their debut long player Departure and really enjoyed their drawn-out Katatonia influenced style of doom. It has taken four long years but finally I have their new CD Six Waves of Woe, an album which sees Niclas Frohagen, Forest of Shadows' only member, take a decided turn towards the Gothic Metal side of things.

Typically I'm not a huge fan of Gothic Metal, but I do enjoy it when it is done well, and here Forest of Shadows has dropped a heavy and memorable slab of doomy goodness that I just can't help but enjoy. Kicking off with an intro of muted synthetic toms and quiet guitars, it isn't long before Niclas kicks it with some seriously crushing guitars that rumble under some simplistic but oh so sweet melodies that sets the pace for the album. The obvious comparison here is Draconian and their brand of massive Doom/Goth, and influences from bands like Paradise Lost, especially in the guitar melodies. The Katatonia worship of Departure is still present but a bit more understated, with the main tip of the hat being the vocals which are still quite reminiscent of Jonas Renske, but even after toning it down a little you need only listen to "Pernicious" to hear an homage to the veterans of depressive metal. However, unlike the Katatonia frontman's somber vocal styling's, Niclas Frohagen also has a deep Death growl that he pulls out to devastating effect, lending the already weighty sections of the album even more heft. There are some clear post-metal influences present as well, most notably in the ending of "Self Destruction" and "Deprived" but they are incorporated into the Gothic doom of the album well and never jar you out of that perfectly gloomy mood. The drums are all done by machine and it is pretty obvious too, with the programming being largely utilitarian and lacking in frills, and while it suits the music, there is that element missing that a good drummer can bring to an album.

There is a lot of variation within each track and the album as a whole, and while not as lengthy as those on Departure, the tracks all have great stories to tell, shifting effortlessly between crushingly heavy and calmly serene. The keyboards provide the basis of the melodies, and whether it be those 70's style Progressive Rock keyboards or the more typical orchestral varieties, they are always there with just the right sound and just the right presence. The impetus of the album is supplied expertly by the bass and drums as they push each track forward in an 8th note pulse that should be familiar to fans of the genre and when it gets heavy, Six Waves of Woe absolutely crushes with rhythm guitars, bass and keyboards adding together to swamp the listener in a wall of sound that remains clear throughout though due to the flawless production that highlights the integral nature of each instrument.

In Six Waves of Woe Forest of Shadows has produced a heavy and memorable platter of doom-laden Gothic Metal that should greatly please fans of both genres. It is one of those albums that just keeps getting better over time as the subtleties in that huge sound become unraveled over multiple listens, so don't write this one off after one or two listens because by the tenth you will be hooked. Recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: Departure (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
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