26 Sep 2016

Forestfather: "Hereafter"

Boundless admiration that would have been an immense recording if released at the right time
Forestfather, a band of Chilean descent, has its origins in the 1998 band Eternal Winter. Since its creation at the hands of Kveldulf Bjalfason, the debut - Hereafter - has been underway, awaiting the completion of the lineup in 2012 with the addition of drummer Jared Moran and vocalist Michael Rumple (of Desiderium).

The band "met" through the Metal Archives forum, and as such the band's reach stretches from Chile in South America to both Mississippi and North Carolina in the US. Many may already be acquainted with Moran's drumming, as he has performed in somewhere around 40 bands.

Forestfather's debut borrows heavily from many established bands, its far-reaching genesis showing itself in atmospheres that closely resemble essential bands such as Woods of Ypres or Agalloch. With melodic guitar leads that fully explore somewhat arpeggiated styles over a background track of a more heavy and simplistic nature, the style is immaculate although, at this point, almost redundant.

"Rumple's archtypcal throaty and raw voice feels more at home with the style,"

The international trio prominently features clean vocals, courtesy of Desiderium frontman Michael Rumple, and this element is quite out of the ordinary. It makes Forestfather stand out from the lot, but at the same time it is the one element that causes most ambivalence in terms of enjoyability. Rumple's archtypcal throaty and raw voice feels more at home with the style, but also more standard and ordinary, like a textbook example of what the genre should be.

These passages of more down-to-earth clean vocals serve as short breaths of fresh air in a stale and thick atmosphere that would, had it been released in the year 2000, have been original and breathtaking, but is by now an effort that is merely adequate.

There is nothing to hold against the recording itself, other than its lack of originality when held against the time of its release. Each cold composition combines organic production values with a strong rhythmic foundation upon which the music builds. The songs rest in themselves as well-composed, but highly derivative pieces, with just a small measure of life breathed into it as a form of musical CPR through the use of clean vocals in an unusual way. Forestfather achieves a form of validity by doing what they do adequately, but the trio never surmounts to becoming anything beyond that. Hereafter is definitely on the right track, but perhaps Forestfather requires a little more traction.


Released in 2013 by Contaminated Tones Productions


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