If you are familiar with A Forest of Stars’ earlier works, you will generally know what to expect here, but this is still a distinct entry in their discography, and is an improvement over their last album (which is still excellent) mainly in the sense that it contains more actual metal without losing any of the over-the-top theatricality and psychedelic ambiance. This reminds me (in no small part due to the absolutely bonkers vocalist) of a more ambitious version of Arcturus’ La Masquerade Infernale, a less insane version of Dodheimsgard’s A Umbra Omega, and a more coherent version of any Devil Doll album, which in combination means that you have to buy this album right fucking now. The variety on this album - and the variety of emotions that it elicits - is phenomenal. Give yourself the gift of A Forest of Stars, and thank yourself forever.
Favorite track: Precipice Pirouette.
The band's devotion to sheer theatricality, in pacing, in the structure of the pieces, in stylistic variations, in vocal style, gives this album a captivating storytelling, stage-play feel on eye-level with Unexpects "In A Flesh Aquarium" or Disillusions "Back To Times Of Splendour". And you can take that as a huge compliment.
Favorite track: Tombward Bound.
AFoS is genius! I can’t even write a proper review for this Masterpiece...I’ll just say it’s one of the best albums I listened to this year definitely a runner for AOTY and highly deserves a listen to BloW your MinD
Insane, creative, unpredictable Black Metal. If love Hail Spirit Noir or Dodheimsgard, you will love this! An incredible listen! Has unmistakable Irish/Scottish Folk touches and maniacal engaging vocals.
This album ebbs and flows with incredible depth, passion, and perfection. Every rise is followed by a perfect fall, every section is placed among its neighbors with thoughtfulness and precision. And the vocals - they take some getting used to, but holy fuck do they rip you open.
I really like this album but it's sleazy to release multiple copies, especially a hi-res version just days after the SD version got released. So I'd need to buy this album 3 times to get all the tracks and just most of them in hi-res.
The year is 1898. The Gentlemen's Club of A Forest Of Stars invites you to a midnight performance of their latest maniacal masterpiece, "Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes". This exclusive brotherhood embraces the decadent, conflicting nature of their Victorian England, weaving sickly gin-tinged thoughts with bizarre, hypnotic melodies to fully express the decadence of their era.
120 years later, in the year 2018, A Forest Of Stars would be nothing less than one of the UK's leading Avantgarde black metal outfits. On "Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes", the septet takes William Blake's proverb of Hell "Exuberance is beauty" as its principle, and celebrates lushness and excess in their music, lyrics and artwork. As an exploration of a struggle against insanity, it also represents the band's desire to revisit earlier works. A more atmospheric album than its predecessor, 2015's "Beware The Sword You Cannot See", this album has nods to the previous sonic explorations on 2012's "A Shadowplay For Yesterdays". We also hear the band utilizing more open space and sound textures in addition to their trademark Avantgarde black metal, dipping into the raw sounds of 2010's "Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring".
The lyrics build upon themes of loss, death and inevitability, describing scenes of decay and destruction – magniloquent, abstract, metaphoric, with an abysmal message at its core. Like the crazed tenant swearing he hears the dead man's heart, "Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes" writhes upon the floorboards, bashing its head in and screaming, "let me out". From the blistering black metal fury of "Precipice Pirouette" to one last cursed dance in the delightfully strange "Decomposing Deity Dancehall", this album will reach from the heights of psychedelia to the seas of opium dreamscapes.
Special attention should also be payed to the artwork of "Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes": all visuals are not digital/virtual creations or photographs of existing scenery. A Forest Of Stars have been crafting the artwork physically, composed of miniature models commissioned, built and photographed over a period of two years. The models and structures are cut from card and each detail is hand-made. This approach finds its climax in the collector's edition boxset, which was not only designed but also hand crafted by the Club, limited to 500 copies. This dedication to the visual and haptic presentation of music is without equal.
120 years before our age, there is a Gentlemen's Club of A Forest Of Stars, an exclusive brotherhood of Victorian Englishmen
who consider themselves representatives of their era, an era as glorious and splendid as it is decadent. This collective finds its musical expression in hypnotic and ghostly Black Metal, expertly streaked with elements of Ambient and Psychedelic....more
supported by 108 fans who also own “Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes”
Tchornobog is without a doubt one of the best records of the decade.
It goes beyond the outdated concept of ''genres'' to create something very much of its own. To think this is the most honest artistic expression of ONE single person is even more impressive.
It's one long journey, but a very worthwhile one. The songs all mesh perfectly into one relentless masterpiece that traps you in its atmosphere, without escape.
Despair, decay... and all the good shit. activa44