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Review: Dark Forest - Oak, Ash & Thorn
Dark Forest
Oak, Ash & Thorn

Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2020
Duration: 52:45
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 19, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Oak, Ash & Thorn

Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)

Oak, Ash & Thorn is the fifth album by Dark Forest, a band that plays an epic-tinged metal centered around big, chunky riffs with some folk stylings in the songwriting. The album continues along the same track Dark Forest started down with their last album, 2016's Beyond the Veil, and possesses a lot of the same qualities that made that one so enjoyable. You have the rallying cry anthem "Wayfarer's Eve", the Maiden-esque "The Midnight Folk" with its twin guitars and Dickinsian "whoa-ohh-ohh" chorus and "The Woodlander", which combines an upbeat melody and some really nice vocal lines as effectively as any song on the album. The title track, clocking in at nearly 12 minutes, runs the gamut from folk melodies to epic riffs and even a little A Capella singing, which exposes the continuing limitation of singer Josh Winnard, who had similar issues on Beyond the Veil. He is working hard and sounds not unlike Dickinson in how he delivers his lines, inflects his voice, etc. but he simply does not possess the same power. In most places, however, he gets along fine. My favorite song has to be "Eadric's Return" as it has a big, expansive feel with some ass-kicking guitar work.

Oat, Ash & Thorn is another fine effort from Dark Forest. If you like the more majestic and epic songs from Iron Maiden's catalog or epic bands like Atlantean Kodex, Grand Magus, et al, Dark Forest is a band worth checking out.

Other related information on the site
Review: Beyond the Veil (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Dark Forest (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Review: Dawn of Infinity (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Dawn of Infinity (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Oak, Ash & Thorn (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Awakening (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Awakening (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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