Dark Forest - Oak, Ash, and Thorn
Cruz Del Sur Music
Heavy / Power metal
9 songs (52' 45")
Release year: 2020
Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Andy

Dark Forest turns out another well-made foray into folk-inflected heavy metal this year in the form of Oak, Ash, and Thorn. Though the length of some of their tracks might put listeners off, the band continues to write great melodies and Christian Horton's vocals are as good as ever.

The influences are Iron Maiden's, but there isn't a bit of darkness to the album. Duelling guitar leads, running the length of each track, add character to tracks that might otherwise become mid-tempo chuggers; the kaleidoscope of lead riffing is a joy to listen to. Horton's vocals are just as upbeat as the melodies, reminding me of Elvenking's Damnagoras; in fact, those who like that band probably will enjoy Oak, Ash and Thorn as well.

The songwriting's tight and smooth, though the title track gets a little too bombastic for the Dark Forest style -- they couldn't keep up their combination of folk, patriotic themes, and all that fantastic guitar for twelve minutes on a single song without tiring me out. That's a small nitpick, and many listeners might consider that a matter of preference. Dark Forest once again shows that upbeat power metal tunes and clean vocals can hold its own with the harsher treatment other bands give folk themes.

Killing Songs :
Wayfarer's Eve, Avalon Rising
Andy quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Dark Forest that we have reviewed:
Dark Forest - Beyond the Veil reviewed by Alex and quoted 83 / 100
Dark Forest - Dark Forest reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
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