|Country:||Chile / USA|
|Label:||Contaminated Tones Productions|
Behind the Forestfather monicker there is first and above all a history: Kveldulf Bjalfason, from Chile, carried on this project for fourteen years as a one-man band, without ever releasing anything. One day, in the year 2012, through Metal-Archives message board, he met drummer Jared Moran (actually an all-round musician in many other american projects) and young singer Michael Rumple (already in Desiderium). What the US-based label Contaminated Tones is releasing, then, in addition to being their very first CD, is a work conceived by people that met each other on the web, and who had never played together in a rehearsal room.
This threesome is after a hybrid form of classic depressive black metal mixed with the now abused "blackgaze" of Alcest-ian origin, with the typical turnover between clean vocals and screaming, generally blunted guitar riffing and a ton of "post-" effects. "Hereafter" has its undeniable points of interest, most of all Bjalfason's riffing: the guy is able to switch from smooth parts to the evergreen black metal rage. In addition to this, he comes up with solutions quite distant from the average extreme sounds, winking at some easy-listening rock. On the other hand, this debut clearly suffers from the "patchy" origin of the band, so to say. The feeling that the three members of Forestfather are playing one separately from the others shows up here and there,especially during the quiet and dreamy parts of the album, when the absence of fury highlights their lack of cohesion. Rumple, dealing with a fair screaming and a somewhat dull clean singing (not to say ugly when it comes to higher notes), doesn't totally fit in with the instruments, which happen not to follow his rhythm behind the mic. Moran, on his part, takes long whiles off just to show up again in the middle of something, then keeping the same pace for some time ("All Tears To Come"), while Bjalfason's trips to acoustic landscapes are always free from the rest, as if there was an unsolvable tension between the two cores of the three-piece, the extreme and the dreamy one.
At this very moment, Forestfather sounds uncertain and a feeling of ambiguity comes along like fog. Taking into account the genesis of such a debut, some more time to get to know each other is definitely recommended. The three musicians need to understand and accept each other's artistic soul, then get back to writing.