A Forest of Stars — Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes – Music quickies

255819-400x_center_centeravant-garde black metal / atmospheric black metal

A Forest of Stars have for a few albums had a very solid footing in the ever-changing grounds of avant-garde where black metal is just one of the elements. It is kind of like atmospheric black metal yes, there’s double-bass and plenty of tremolo, but oh so much other textures as well. Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes listens a lot like a poem with dramatic spoken word, crazy whirlwind-fast or almost cried vocals. The lyrics are rich and constantly puzzling.

As satisfying as Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes is, some clearer vocal arrangements or lyrics that are more approachable would have been welcome additions. That being said, there’s something about music that makes one feel dumb that I enjoy. The madness and fierce and tasty bits in the compositions make up for whatever the album lacks in approachability.

The mellow sections often take a long time, making the album challenging but relaxing. This is black metal suitable for afternoon tea. But when A Forest of Stars are not mellowing about, the compositions are rich with plenty of surprises. There’s frenzied pummeling, symphonic keyboards, electronic bridges, quality female vocals and most importantly dramatic violin melodies! They really can use the violin in their favour.

Even if one would go so far to classify the lyrics as poetic art bullshit it is impossible to question the effectiveness of Precipice Pirouette or Decomposing Deity Dance Hall. Shut up and get in the ground! He said to himself knowingly.


Blueprint Human Being – Heaven Is All

Avant-garde progressive rock with doom metal influences

Being a big fan of obscure rock music, but not having many glimpses to prog bands, let alone avant-garde prog, Blueprint Human Being’s Heaven is all -ep made a huge impression on me some years ago. The band is best known as a sideproject of only a bit better known Finnish doom trio, Garden of Worm, which is exactly the way this quartet came to my attention. 

Heaven is all consists of 5 tracks, one being a noise outro track and one a short instrumental passage. But the three main tracks make this a fine entity. Especially Vojaganto and Hotelli Kognitio: b. Carrots in the Garden of Worm have an incredible groove. The singing in the record ranges from mediocre to weak and plain odd, but luckily the album largely consists of instrumental sections. When you can overcome the singing and concentrate on the obscure guitar lines, melodies and wicked rhythms, this is an almost throughoutly enjoyable release.

After all these years, the record is still available for purchase on a label Paradigms-recordings. So if you are into progressive rock music and can stand some oddities – this could be something for you. At least download and listen to the sample 11 minute track Vojaganto.