Astral Winter – Forest of Silence (Review)

Astral WinterThis is the third album from Astral Winter, an Australian one-man black metal band.

2013’s Perdition was quite a treat; a heavily atmospheric ambient/neo-classical release that’s enjoyed a lot of airtime in this household.

It’s now time for Forest of Silence, and the first thing that strikes me before I put it on are the song lengths – this album is a lot longer.

Upon pressing play it’s clear that this is going to be an engrossing journey. Everything sounds huge, majestic and thoroughly epic. The melodic black metal that was largely absent on Perdition is now back in all of its rapturous glory. Combined with the neo-classical orchestration it means that the album is rich, colourful and so overstimulating I feel the need to go outside and do something creative after listening to it.

The tracks are grand and expansive, full of synths, keyboards and other sounds that cause every part of the album to drip with exotic atmospheres. The controlling force behind Astral Winter does not do things by half it seems.

Liquid screams crackle like lightning strikes across the bold, grandiose music. Cleans also make an appearance occasionally, but it’s the screams that are the main stars.

With long songs that are big on atmosphere, big on melodies, big on character, and just big in general, Forest of Silence is an imposing and impressive listen.

If you like the epic compositions and world-creating atmospheres of artists like Summoning and Midnight Odyssey, then Astral Winter is a band for you.

Very highly recommended.

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