In addition to Through Thickets and Trodden Paths, Path of the Wolf released another tape at the same time, a split between Forest Grave and Thunorsleap. The latter is totally unknown to me and, as far as I’m aware, this is their first appearance ever.
Forest Grave, on the other hand, does its job here as safely as always. “Through These Old Forests” begins the journey in characteristic low-fidelity soundscapes: drums pummelling somewhere there with mostly snare, bass drum and accented crash hits audible, guitars firing their positively monotonous tremolos, and Nox delivering deadly screeches. An acoustic guitar line on top of the black metal is a nice addition, bringing something relatively fresh into the game. “Echoes of Eternity” follows very similar patterns, with a somewhat more heroic approach in the melodies.
When Thunorsleap kicks in with “Storm Winds”, you know immediately that this new band will not disappoint. It’s possible to make several comparisons to Forest Grave – as in the harsh production, the vocals, and the slightly ritualistic, repetitive approach to composing – but Thunorsleap seems somewhat more focused, structured, and more carefully played (not to underrate Forest Grave’s unique style). The band combines sombre and hateful moods very eloquently, not entirely unlike such Finnish names as Sargeist and Cosmic Church. The two songs here are pretty much perfect pieces of underground black metal, both tracks hammering like old doers in the field, knowing their game already (which makes me wonder if this is truly the band’s first effort).
Two somewhat similar acts presenting great tracks on a same tape, an apt format for both bands, so I really can’t complain. A mandatory purchase for Forest Grave followers, and a good way to introduce a really promising band on the same go.
4 / 5