A Forest of Stars occupy a particular place on the metal spectrum. Like Manes, Fluerety and other bands I’ve covered at Decibel, they’re a theatrical act whose roots lie in black metal but whose ultimate interests lie elsewhere. Unlike their peers, they’re from the United Kingdom (this small but beloved style of music is, even more so than regular black metal, hyper-focused in Scandinavia), and relatively riffy.
There were a whole lot of screaming electric guitars on their last record, Beware the Sword You Cannot See, just as there are on their upcoming Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes. You’ll hear them in the song “Decomposing Diety Dance Hall,” streaming below. That said, most of the song rides a keyboard-and-drum groove.
The most distinctive thing about A Forest of Stars remains vocalist Dan “Mister Curse” Eyre. He sings, sure. He growls, too, in a sense. Mostly, though, he narrates. In his virulent ranting and raving lies a whole lot of King Diamond worship, which somehow dovetails well with the kinda-Emperor-kinda-Fotheringay thing that A Forest of Stars do so well on Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes.
Is it over the top?
You bet your ass it is. And it totally works, precisely because every piece of what A Forest of Stars do is so completely over the top that it lands them in rarified territory. Orthodox black metal it ain’t, but horrifying it is — exactly what one wants out of this kind of forward-thinking
Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes will be out on September 28 via Prophecy Productions. You can oder it here.