Saturday, November 5, 2011

In the Woods... the Forgotten Woods

It's official! The rainy season has begun here on the North Coast of California. Harvest season has now evolved into trimming season. Expect periodic showers leading to constant rain, mostly gray skies, rare sun, cold wind, and bitchy people complaining about the weather for the next 7 months. Oh joy!
Yes folks, the days of moderately warm temperatures during the day and cool yet tolerable temperatures during the night have come to pass. Shit, even I woke up this morning freezing my ass off! In fact, turning on the heater this morning set off the smoke alarm! Of course, it doesn't help that there's a god-damned smoke alarm in every friggin' room of this apartment. There's even one in the garage down below! WTF?! Silly landlords...

Well, shit on a shingle!
So much for going outside today I guess.

As a result of this dismal weather and in part due to procrastinating working on an assignment for one of my classes (I have had a serious case of 'senioritis' as of late), I have stumbled across an old, rare gem (or two) that I often overlook. Apparently I have been rediscovering these "gems" recently, beginning with this and this. I also blame alcohol for my lack of motivation to do what I should be doing (which is studying of course) as opposed to digging through old albums and giving them a spin or two. Seemingly, this has been a regular occurrence of mine as of late. Shit, I really must have a bad case of senioritis...

Forgotten Woods' As The Wolves Gather is as crucial to the Norwegian Black Metal scene as is Mayhem's Deathcrush or Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse, in my opinion at least (you can argue with me later as I don't feel like arguing with you about it at the moment).
Upon finishing listening to As The Wolves Gather, I wandered off the beaten track and began listening to another rare gem, In The Woods... Heart of the Ages. Both bands are relatively obscure to most, especially in the U.S., and both provide a unique glimpse into an often overlooked part of the Norwegian Black Metal scene when bands such as Mayhem, Immortal, and Emperor were pushing the boundaries and becoming more extreme in their song writing. Yes, they both have a noticeable Burzum influence but they
also possess something entirely different. Fans of early Enslaved, Borknagar, and Ulver take note! Both albums came out in 1994 and 1995 respectively and provide a refreshing and experimental approach to the then floundering black metal scene. Both are a breath of fresh air in light of the drama that encapsulated much of Norway and Sweden during the early to mid-90s. To me, black metal doesn't necessarily have to be intense or evil sounding. It can still have atmosphere and life without losing its grim and dark appeal aesthetically. For example, look at early Satyricon, Arcturus, and Ulver...

I know some of you out there probably have heard either one or both of these albums but in the event that you have not, I encourage you to check them out if you have not done so already. As a result of all this dismal, cold, wet weather we are experiencing, and since going out for a walk in the woods is not really an option at present, these two releases are a fitting listen!

Download Here
Buy Here and Here


Helm said...

HEart of the Ages is one of my favourite albums in the whole wide world. I never have Forgotten Woods much notice, though.

Alex_P said...

I'm of the same opinion as Helm on HEart of the Ages. It's a fucking beautiful little record. As for Forgotten Woods, I'll need to give them a listen.

Aegipan said...

I would recommend all if not most of Forgotten Woods' material. Even their newest album (they're still together supposedly) "Race of Cain" is a worthy listen but I'm partial to their earlier works. They never garnered the same attention as did In the Woods..., Burzum, et al, which is a shame in my opinion. I'll try to post more of their stuff.