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Honestly, for years, I thought Ildjarn was a joke. Only upon reading reviews for his work on Metal Archives do I find out that many people take this man seriously. This seriously must be a massive in-joke, with people writing glowing reviews with the sole intention of deceiving the reader into listening to garbage like this. That MUST be the reason why Ildjarn repeatedly gets 90% or higher reviews. I just refuse to believe that people can be such hipsters that they will throw their support behind such unabashedly crap music.
Normally, when I review music, I think about what the creator of the music intended when he (or she) created the music. This, however, is not applicable here. Because the only conclusion I can come up with is that Ildjarn intended to create crap. In that sense, he succeeded. That's why Forest Poetry gets a 3% instead of a 0 percent, because he definitely succeeded here. This is utter crap, and I can never force myself to rate crap highly. I am a VERY open-minded listener, MUCH more so than I used to be, and I honestly gave this one hell of a chance to grow on me. Still, to this day, I cannot listen to more than a minute or so at a time without wanting to cut my ears off. I guess that's good, since most songs are blissfully short, but that's NEVER a good thing.
In fact, I've heard noisegrind bands with a more appealing sound than this. The production sounds as if Ildjarn took a computer microphone, hung it from the ceiling, and recorded all tracks with that microphone. To me, this is a satire of black metal, much more so than being black metal itself. The name of the album, Forest Poetry, is about as generic of a black metal album name as you can get, and all the song titles are equally generic. And true to the nature of satire, it takes the worst flaws of black metal (unmusicality and horrid production) and takes them past their logical extreme. I would, then, rate this higher than 3%, since I do love satire, except that this is not funny. It's just annoying. I can pretty much describe this entire album in one sentence: Fake-sounding blastbeats with horribly distorted and recorded guitars repeating boring and stupid riffs ad infinitum with distorted vocals and an overall very sloppy performance.
I could end my review there, since that's the entire summation of what happens here. It sounds like VON, but with way worse production and way worse performance. Furthermore, since to the best of my knowledge, VON was a joke, there is no way I can take Ildjarn's Forest Poetry (or any of his discography, really) seriously. I guess this is a joke, and the joke is on the fans who actually pay money on this. Here's a little perspective for you: Ildjarn probably made this whole thing in a couple days, and spent 0 money on making it. This proves that with the right packaging and the right philosophy, fans will eat up ANYTHING.
I tried my hardest to find a reason to rate this high, and to find a reason why anybody would rate this high. I mean, I try to avoid reviewing styles/genres that I don't care for, and I do love raw black metal (Hate Forest, anyone?) and I tried with all my effort to see why Ildjarn could get anything approaching the accolades he gets. The only conclusion I can come up with is the bandwagon effect: it's cool within the extreme black metal circles to like Ildjarn, since it's "obscure" and "kvlt" sounding. That's the only explanation I can come up with, because there is nothing to like here. This is not raw, this is not kvlt, this is CRAP. There's a difference. Mutiilation was raw. Arkha Sva is raw. This is just crap; pure, unadulterated, crap. This is not black metal, this is not "tr00", this is just crap.
Forest Poetry honestly reminds me of dadaist art, which often consisted of defacing classic works of art or creating unabashed crap. Likewise, the only people who liked dadaist art were the hipsters of the time who pretty much only liked it because it was cool. Just like how dadaist "art" really isn't art all that much, Forest Poetry isn't really music all that much. It's an attempt to make something as raw and unproduced as possible. The flaw in that equation is that Forest Poetry is pretty much unlistenable.
So while I must say that Ildjarn pretty much succeeded at what he was trying to do, i.e. make the most horrid sounding black metal ever, I'm gonna quote something my father said to me a lot when I was a little kid: "Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD." There is no reason why Forest Poetry should've been made, no reason why it deserves this kind of packaging and label support, and no reason why anybody should pay their hard earned money on this. Anybody who actually has to work a job for their money (instead of getting it from their parents/family) should be insulted that Ildjarn wants us to spend money on this. This took absolutely no talent or time to make. It's an insult to the listener and a joke on anyone who is enough of a sap to pay money for this. Normally I don't see why low ratings are justified, but in this case, it's sorely justified.