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DRUADAN FOREST "The Lost Dimension" CD

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Digipak CD12.00 €
"I've seen lots of comments online that compare Druadan Forest's latest release to Summoning. Whilst the resemblance is indeed there - as is the case with the majority of epic/atmospheric black metal bands these days - it seems a lazy comparison to make in this case. I prefer to liken 'The Lost Dimension' to a soundtrack, with orchestral arrangements that sometime feel as dramatic as Wintersun at their most bombastic. Throughout the album, Druadan Forest make use of a wide, eclectic variety of mystical and unusual synths in addition to more traditional elements. This enchanting nature of the album helps to create a superb flow; despite the relatively short runtime of 40 minutes, the album somehow seems both much longer and much quicker than that.

Every track is expertly created, with layers creating unique textures for each song: in "Dragons of Forgotten Times", we're treated to an atmosphere that seems calm, but betrays something dark roaming in the background; "Beyond the Sun, Beyond the Moon" showcases an expert understanding of how to build layers in a song, to great effect; and the final track, "Plaintive Winds Swept Through Forgotten Battlefields" is a haunting close to an excellent album. I feel that this album stands apart from popular contemporaries like Eldamar due to significant diversity in songwriting, whilst still keeping the overarching themes of the album coherent; the inclusion of medieval sounding chord progressions is but one interesting twist, and no two songs feel like they are playing the same part.

That is not to say that this album is faultless. The drums are buried under the layers, and the vocals could really do with being less drowned in reverb. As with many acts of this kind, one has to wonder how far stylistic choice acts as a detriment to the music. Nevertheless, these are small gripes. It is often said that the best things are a long time in the making; Druadan Forest are 20 years in the making, and it really shows."