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First off let's get somethin straight about this band; their album is like a wild beast, it needs time to be tamed, appreciated. Spirit Of The Forest's debut is quite surprising to say the least. Indeed, A Brew Of Lightning & Terror is the kinda black metal you dont get to hear often. And when you do most of the time it's crap, save for a few bands, like SOTF, who learned the meaning behind the words "moody" and "atmospheric". This album is filled to the brim with it, With competent musicianship to back it all up, the end result is quite a feast for the senses. This is no Marduk, although at time the band does speed up. The lyrics help enhance and add a lot to the over all feel of this opus of darkness This is thanks to our friends in darkness, Phobetor, and boy did he gather a nice crew for his brand of atmospheric black metal.
Not to forget that the man is very good with his axe, producing some evil old times sound. This is more old school black metal (Tormentor, early Mayhem). Auster, the force behind the drum kit, is quite versatile, in that he can switch styles very quickly without a twitch. That is a major plus and adds to the music's backbone. As for the bass, Ekinox lay down some mean and menacing demonic bass lines to link the drums and the guitars. He also did some of the riffing, which sounds like a cross between old Immortal and Tormentor at times, with a decent production. At least they understood that you dont have to record with a shitty sound to sound menacing, mean and evil,something both Marduk and Tormentor understood quite well. The riffs are very varied by the way, sometimes you can almost -- i dare say ALMOST -- hear a lil bit of speed metal in their structure -- but its all done in the best interest of the songs. They're very melodic for the most part, yet always brutal like a tempest hitting you right in the face.Vocal wise, Lucyber is a nice surprise, another good ace up their sleeve, since he is very versatile, goin from a low almost death-metal growl, to a higher n more guttural type of vocal style from song to song, or in the same song.
Overall, if given some serious dedication and some good promotions and attention grabbing supporting spot on some tours, SOTF could well become a force to be reckoned with, if only for their ability to blend harmony and animosity together to offer us a deliciously evil brew of lightning fast riffs and terrorizing atmosphere.Cheers!!!