|Review: Woods of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason|
|Torn Beyond Reason|
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Year released: 2011
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: June 23, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Torn Beyond Reason
Rated 5/5 (100%) (7 Votes)
Were you a fan of Austere? Well stop the presses, order this and prepare for awesomeness. Woods of Desolation basically take off from where Austere left off, except they do everything better. From the vocals to the music itself, this is just fantastic. I'm not going to lie, I have a massive boner over this album and I can't recommend it enough.
For the uninitiated among us, Woods of Desolation play a heart-wrenching, melodic style of black metal. Although I do use this band quite a lot in comparisons, this is basically like While Heaven Wept playing black metal, you know those melodies they utilize? The kind that absolutely pull on your heartstrings until you feel they won't let go, releasing at the most opportune moments? Yeah that shit. Well just imagine a black metal back-drop, some of said melodies being tremolo-picked and you have Woods of Desolation.
I've really taken my time getting to know this album, racking up a ridiculous amount of listens, and its power just doesn't recede. In fact, I'd say I feel stronger about this album with each listen, this is quickly rising up to being among my favorites of the style. Now, trying to give something in the way of unbiased feedback and criticism, I will say this has some of that post-black and depressive black that some fans of the genre seem to loathe. There are also clean vocals in small doses, which are quite good and certainly better than the almost emo clean vocals heard on Austere. My main criticism (and probably only) would be that the album does tend to stick to the same formula throughout with the exception of the short "November", however this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand the album lends well to being listened to in one go, and on the other it makes it a little harder to dip in and out.
However, in saying that I can still happily name standouts, and whilst the sound is fairly similar across the board it is always interesting and dynamic. Fans of acts such as the aforementioned Austere as well as acts such as Weakling and Shining are definitely going to want to get a hold of this quick. Torn Beyond Reason is an amazing album, and had I taken the time to delve into this more last year it would have ranked very high in my end-of-year list. Tracks such as the title track and "The Inevitable End" pull your heart right down into oblivion, but it's an enjoyable stay and a small glimmer of hope hinted at throughout. Take the plunge with Woods of Desolation, you won't regret it.
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