Review of the old in the forest album
Have Faith in Your Masterful Neighbour… - 85%
bayern, February 17th, 2018.
Cause if you do, one day he/she/they will produce a fine tribute to everything you’ve stood for. The “you” in this case stands for the US 80’s metal scene, and the neighbours are three lads from Quebec who didn’t have to look very far for inspiration, just south of the border, in a way their compatriots Outbreak and Razor did a few years back, only that the delivery here was a blend of power, speed, and thrash with a hefty at times progressive flair.
This gem here is nearly 40-min long, and only the lightly sloppy sound quality betrays its demo origins. It begins with the impetuous galloper “Electric Chair” with the hard-hitting guitars, the blazing leads, and the very good soaring clean vocals. The title-track is a progressive power/thrash shredder with dark brooding overtones and an enchanting balladic intro, and “True Peace” is a short immediate burster. “Shadow in My Head” brings back the more elaborate arrangements alongside another balladic, this time lead-driven, etude and a couple of more energetic, also technical pirouettes the latter finding place on “Last Rites” as well, another dynamic galloping proposition in the best tradition of Helstar and Liege Lord with admirable high-pitched vocal insertions. “Negative Way“ speed/thrashes with verve without speeding up too much recalling early Metal Church, and “Escape (From the World Frustration)” is an excellent more intricate piece with genuinely technical moments with echoes of Realm and Toxik. The closing “Life After Life” mesmerizes the listener with a gorgeous lead-dominated motif before the band embark on another less ordinary journey with sharp cutting riffage, poignant balladic interludes, and fine soaring melodies.
A really nice confirmation of the “love thy neighbour” postulate, this obscure entry into the Canadian metal roster is one of the fonder nods made to the rich legacy of the country’s southern neighbour, a complex, also quite hard-hitting saga that has its own, more individualistic charm as well also coming from the not very crystal-faith… sorry, clear sound quality again, and the few more ambitious intricate riff-knots. Made in a forest somewhere up in the impenetrable north of their homeland… I don’t think so; but the fact that the guys literally vanished after this demo’s release, makes me think at times of those untapped areas in the big country over there where many an arduous metal fan must have lost their way.