Origin: France
Genre: Avant-garde Metal Melodic Black Metal
Label: Deus Ex Machina Division
Year: 2012

French romantic black metallers Mystic Forest are back after a very long period of silence. The band was formed in 1997 by Stefan Kozak, who is practically their only member, since he composes and performs all music, with the help of a few guest musicians in each album. The first full-length “Green Hell…” came out on 1999. Mystic Forest tried since its beginning to play melodic yet raw black metal, combined with classical music interludes in a dark romantic atmosphere. “Welcome Back in the Forest” in 2001 and “Waltz in the Midst of Trees” in 2002 moved at the same style. In 2004 the band released its best album until then, “Romances“. This time Stefan tried to “embed” more melodies in his guitar lines, as well as female vocals and acoustic instruments and the separation between these two “worlds” (classical music and primitive black metal) was less distinct. After that, the band took a big break, even if the music for the next album was composed between 2004 and 2007! It was 8 years later when they finally managed to release their 5th full-length work “In the End…“, an album I expected eagerly… Meanwhile, in 2010 a collection with all band’s demos and EPs was released with the title “Art, Memories, Requiem“, a great gift for their fans, who can have in one album 77 minutes of previously never released on CD and hard to find music.

This new album brings some changes in Mystic Forest’s music. The most important of them is the absence of all classical interludes from their songs and the addition of many clean male vocals (no female this time). The compositions are much more solid and the band actually managed to create an album that can be seen either as melodic avant-garde black metal, or as extreme classical romantic music… There is now one more member in the band, Raypissed, who has written all lyrics and performed all vocals. The band has a less extreme sound, but they still retain their underground black metal aesthetic. Guitars are simply amazing, deeply influenced by classical music, combined with synths, flutes, violins and other instruments in a melodic orgiastic pandemonium! Their clean vocals are are excellent, fitting so perfectly with their music, giving this lunatic avant-garde atmosphere to the album. Of course they also sing with their characteristic black metal screams, making this wonderful contradiction with their melodic music. Their production remains at the same raw style of the previous works, I’d prefer it thought a bit cleaner… There are 8 songs in the album and their overall duration is almost 40 minutes. “In the End…” has only English lyrics, while the majority of their previous songs was in French and this is another important change for the band…

Thankfully Mystic Forest are back with a wonderful new album. I liked all the new elements in their music, except for the language change, and I hope they will continue writing new songs and releasing new album more frequently. “In the End…” is out by Deus Ex Machina, a division of Drakkar Productions, in glossy paper digifile CD. It comes with a 12-page booklet and this amazing cover artwork by Kevin Rolly. You can visit their Facebook page below for more details and sound samples.


Rating:  (9/10)

Mystic Forest @ Facebook


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