Trawling through the endless tweets in my twitter feed I came across a reply to a post I had posted about my inability in nail down my Top 10 Albums of 2009. DJBeerman suggested I take a listen to a new band that were about to release their debut album the following week. This band was Fornost Arnor, a quartet from South-east England. So, I headed over to their MySpace page to hear them for myself.
The opening song on the player “I Am Misery” is an onslaught of melodic black metal heavily influenced by the pioneers of the genre, Opeth. Fornost Arnor display great technical prowess and an ability to create progressive songs alongside the best! I continued through the remaining three songs and was equally impressed by both the playing and writing abilities of the band. So impressed, in fact, that I ordered their CD from Witch King Records the same day!
Two days later the CD arrived and I couldn’t get it on the stereo quickly enough! The album opens with the familiar “I Am Misery”, “A Trance of Madness” and “If The Trees Could Only Speak…” that I had heard from their MySpace page. The fourth track “Her Face in the Water” is a slower paced, haunting, acoustic track complete with vocal harmonies and soaring lead breaks that gives a modicum of respite from the ferocious opening tracks. “Gravity Defied” returns to the trademark ferocity and the growl of Greg Chivers. “Strength of the Heart” – This track perfectly displays Fornost Arnor’s writing qualities, a melodic progressive sound with the menacing black metal shadow ready to burst in at any moment! “Falling Into the Arms of Sorrow” – A short, sharp burst of melodia that eases you gently into the vicious beginning of “The Tragedy of Delusion”. Another great progressive track ranging from the raucous to the melodic and back again with more vocal harmonies to be found sitting hand in hand with the brutal growls.
The production on this album is excellent, as a debut outing I can find little wrong with it. If this is the first taste of what Fornost Arnor are capable of then, in my opinion, they will go a long way!