Land of the Evening Star is the second album by Canadian one man black metal project Dark Forest. The album was released in 2012 and is a long awaited release for Dark Forest’s fans since the debut album, Aurora Borealis, was released back in 2006. David Parks is the man behind the project, performing all instruments and vocals, and in Land of the Evening Star he’s produced an album that should be very well worth the long wait.
Dark Forest’s music is easily placed at the most epic end of the black metal spectrum. Atmospheric, symphonic, progressive, and even vaguely folksy in some parts, Land of the Evening Star is a one-man tour de force of epic black metal and forty-five minutes of pure listening pleasure. This is not typical black metal by any means; featuring a clear sound, a focus on melody with a mix of growling and clean vocals. The best way to describe the land though is a musical journey. One that begins with the introductory track Rediscovery of the New World and proceeds to take the listener through the various moods of black metal music mentioned above until it’s conclusion with Bjarne Herjúlfsson ca. 985CE, having kept the quality on a consistently high level throughout with excellent tracks such as Like Towers They Reach To The Sky, Vesperia, and the just shy of nine minute piece A Few Acres Of Snow, a well varied piece that holds many claims to being the best on the album.
It’s funny for me, but I only discovered the existence of this Dark Forest while exploring a complete different one; one that is rooted not in black metal but traditional metal and is found in the United Kingdom and ironically seems to be the less well known band. Having become a fan of that band already for some reason I ignored the existence of the Canadian Dark Forest for quite some time, which was ultimately my loss, which is ultimately the point of this little story; Dark Forest (yes, that’s this Dark Forest) has made the sort of black metal album that I don’t come across very often, one that pushes the boundaries of the style into something quite far removed from the template left by the early Norwegian bands, and skipping over an album like Land of the Evening Star, no matter the reason, will only be to one’s own loss. An exceptional grade rating is easily deserved.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org) on 08/09/2012)