Woodtemple - Forgotten Pride
Sacrilege Records
Folk/Black Metal
6 songs (31' 3")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Andy

Austrian pagan black metal outfit Woodtemple's new album, Forgotten Pride, has an intro and outro like its predecessors, with only a few actual songs sandwiched between. With so few songs to make, one would think that they would be differentiated from each other a little better. Yet unfortunately, despite a decent atmosphere at times, Forgotten Pride is composed of forgettable, repetitive songs that blend into each other, leaving little mark on the listener.

First, the good. Band leader Aramath's vocals have gotten a little better from past albums, usually sticking to guttural croak similar to that which is used by Agalloch's John Haughm. His keyboard talents can sometimes fill the void left by the music with enough sound effects and choruses (on parts of the title track and So Far Away that the band can occasionally skate by just with that, like on some of the longer and more winding parts of Bathory's Viking albums, and So Far Away, though lacking fire, does get more impact than the others with the addition of hoarsely chanted clean vocals on some of the choruses. And the intro and outro are well-composed keyboard instrumentals which have as epic a feel to them as one is going to get here.

All that is overwhelmed by the bad, the worst being the repetitious nature of the music. The title track and Sign of the Sun are so similar that I had to check my player to make sure I wasn't on repeat, and the jangling strumming of the guitar (there is some distortion, but any time the acoustic guitar comes in, it buries the electric part in the mix) isn't particularly good. Aramath is a better keyboardist than guitarist, and he seems to know that in the way he layers keyboard tracks over everything, but the songwriting is poor enough that in some ways all the choir oohs and aahs off his MIDI patches make the songs seem even more contrived. Eternal Silence, the second-to-last track on the album, adds insult to injury by heaping on another two minutes of boring acoustic guitar strumming for no good reason; one finds oneself wishing that the silence was, in fact, eternal.

Even as an EP, Forgotten Pride would have little impact on the listener, but as an LP it's a paltry offering indeed. Given the range of brilliant pagan/folk/black metal offerings currently available, there's no good reason to give this one much of a glance.

Killing Songs :
Andy quoted 57 / 100
Other albums by Woodtemple that we have reviewed:
Woodtemple - The Call From The Pagan Woods reviewed by Misha and quoted 60 / 100
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