Crystalmoors – The Mountain Will Forgive Us (Review)

CrystalmoorsCrystalmoors are a Spanish pagan/folk black metal band and this is their third album.

This is a double-album release consisting of two different parts. The first is named The Sap That Feeds Us and the second is named La Montaña.

The Sap That Feeds Us is pagan/folk black metal that should find fans in any that favour the work of Dissection, Primordial, Agalloch and Drudkh.

I like the blackened melodies that the band use. The guitars are full of memorable riffs that speak of the black metal side of the equation quite strongly, with a melodic flow that seems to run through them with ease. Influences also come from the pagan/folk side of things too, manifesting in some of the melodies as well as other aspects of the band’s sound such as the acoustic sections in the tracks.

There’s plenty of bite and attack to these songs, and speed is not an issue either. The band have a good balance of faster and slower material on here, not dwelling too much on their softer side. Although this is definitely an aspect of their sound, they’re mainly concerned with viewing their pagan/folk roots through a very blackened lens, leaving the more pronounced side of these influences to the second disc.

The vocals on the songs perform both high and deep vocals equally well. Having said that, I do slightly prefer the deeper growls, as these hit a nice note with me. The screams are probably more frequently used overall though, and are also really satisfyingly done. Other vocal styles, including cleans, appear occasionally. These are done usually in a backing style, adding an extra aspect of interest to the song.

This is a strong and enjoyable collection of pagan/folk-influenced black metal. With good songs and a good sound, Crystalmoors have produced an album that is very easy to like.

But we’re not done yet, as there’s also the second disc.

La Montaña contains folk versions of old and new songs. These are acoustic interpretations of songs off the first side of the album, as well as some older material of the band.

Despite their acoustic nature, I was surprised to hear the band still using a lot of harsh vocals on the tracks. We get cleans too, of course, as well as some spoken word/whispered/etc. vocals, but it makes me oddly pleased that they chose to keep the screams and growls. As someone that’s not a huge fan of acoustic versions of songs it makes this even more listenable.

Crystalmoors know what they’re doing with this material though, which should come as no wild shock considering it’s their own. These songs are very enjoyable, although for my own preferences I’ll be listening to The Sap That Feeds Us more than this in the future, as most of the time you can’t beat a bit of distortion. Still, I’ll certainly return to and enjoy La Montaña again too when I’m feeling in the mood, as it is really well-done.

I tell you what though, after having said all that, this side is wickedly addictive.

Overall The Mountain Will Forgive Us has a lot to offer fans of the style. In the mood for a feast of black metal with good melodies and memorable songs? Side 1. In the mood for something a bit mellower and lighter that still has an edge of darkness? Side 2. Either way, this is quality stuff.

Check them out.

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