Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cryptic Forest-Ystyr

Cryptic Forest is a project by the legendary Finsterfrost. Their highly melodic and very intelligent sound makes for an engaging listen replete with exciting ideas and dynamic changes. Ystyr their debut full length (they previously put out a critically lauded EP, Dawn of the Eclipse) Is an impressive testament to the enduring and harsh power of true frostbitten black metal. The kind of music that speaks to the soul in its primitive brutality and unapologetic destruction. A product of excellent songwriting from stellar musicians, this is what black metal is supposed to be about.

The soaring keyboards on songs like Winterstorms really gives Cryptic Forest a powerful aura and sets them up as something greater than just another black metal band. Instead, they have been able to create something otherworldly and magical. The way that these songs are crafted is simply majestic and it gives the entire thing a strange and unearthly might. As you fall deeper into this record you find references to all sorts of elements of pagan lore, one particularly striking example comes in the song King of the Cryptic Forest with its reference to the legendary Erl King. This simply speaks to the blissful destruction of true pagan black metal magic.

Ystyr has a simple and beautiful pagan black metal magic, the sort of release that gets at the spirit of the genre in a way that few of their peers can match. The guys in Finsterfrost have done something special here, yet distinctly different from their main project. I really hope this isn't a one off, but instead something more, the start of something new and triumphant, evidence to the pagan might of a genre that will never die, black metal that gets at the spirit of the pure unadulterated hatred that comprehends the beautiful evil of atavistic and heart rending black metal.

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