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Evilfeast > Mysteries of the Nocturnal Forest > Reviews
Evilfeast - Mysteries of the Nocturnal Forest

Beauteous, Captivating Cold Darkscapes - 100%

PrincipleOfEVIL, June 24th, 2009

I found this gem while browsing the internet. I saw the cover and the album title, thought that it must be something special, as the title is very inspirative. And I thought right, although I was yet unprepared for what was to come. Labelled as atmospheric black metal, I expected some slow, droning and lukewarm hymns of dullness drenched in random noises and electronic ''embellishments'', as many (pseudo)atmospheric bands write. But, fortunately, I was wrong.

This band is all about atmosphere. The production is raw, but this adds to the album's numerous strong points. The guitars are clean and have a thick, full and rich sound; they are clean, unlike other raw albums, the reverb they have brings to the listeners' ears consonant, repetitive, haunting, almost trance-inducing beautiful and highly evocative riffs that create a ''wall of sound'', while keys support the riffs and also play many leading lush and eerie melodies, but they never smother the guitar. As for the drums, it seems it's a drum machine, but the rhythm is varied within each song, so the music is not one-dimensional. They are pretty low in the mix, so that more than often they resound like distant heartbeats, especially cymbals, albeit bass drums are thundering throughout. Vocals sound genuinely evil. They are not very varied, but they are performed with heartfelt conviction, being of the rasping variety, similar to Legion's vocal work. They have also an echoing effect added to them, as everything here has, purveying the grim atmosphere. They are not high in the mix, but rather seem to blend with the instruments, sounding like an additional instrument, while remaining audible. Of special mention are the beautiful and poetic lyrics. They possess a dark and menacing imagery, while retaining poetic beauty, being somewhat hermetic and highly metaphorical, with a mystic and a pagan undertone, evoking man's bounds with nature.

All songs are lengthy, the whole album having a duration of an hour, roughly, but there is no filler and not a single momoent of dullness, as it's very easy to immerse oneself into the music. There are six songs and three instrumental synth pieces: an intro, an interlude and an outro. All these are about three minutes of length. Unlike other such pieces that end being skipped, these are very good. A friend not into metal told me he felt unease while they played, so they are truly full of dread; while they give me goose bumps. The intro is especially haunting. It is eerie and brings haunting fullmoon nights to mind. The interlude is melancholic and full of longing.

The whole atmosphere and ambience of this album is a mystic experience, like really walking in a forest by a fullmoon night in winter; a truly rewarding and enthralling listen, best experienced when listening to it with headphones, as to fully catch every subtlety. I highly recommend this album and Evilfeast in general to every dark soul and urge everyone who did not discover Evilfeast to immerse himself into this true piece of art.

The feast begins at night - 90%

Pestbesmittad, October 24th, 2006

Poland has many excellent bands and Evilfeast is one more addition to that bunch. The cover picture of this CD tells you exactly what the music will sound like: dark atmospheric black metal with strong sombre undercurrents. Bands that come to my mind when listening are old Gehenna, Kataxu and even Xasthur occasionally, however, Evilfeast does not copy any of these bands. Despite hailing from Poland, Evilfeast’s style is more Nordic than the traditional Polish one (old Graveland, Infernum, old Behemoth etc.).

The guitars are raw yet powerful and create a very wintry feeling to the music. The production manages to create quite a “big” sound despite not being a polished, professional one. A thing that could be better is the drum sound; here the drums thud along in a pretty unclear way. The vocals are distorted in order to give them a grimmer touch. Feel wise Evilfeast draws from early to mid 90s black metal and manages to do “cliché” titles like “Ode to a Rising Fullmoon”, “Thy Woods are Sacred” and “Towards the Funeral Winternight Landscape” justice.

The synths are used exceptionally well throughout “Mysteries of the Nocturnal Forest”, adding a truly floating and dim atmosphere to the songs. For example, the synth intro “Ode to a Rising Fullmoon” conveys precisely the chilling and somber feeling that black metal synth intros used to convey back in the day. Midway through the CD there’s another great synth track called “Solitude Apotheosis” which is full of sadness and longing. The third synth track, “Desolate Fields Left”, ends the CD in an appropriate way. To sum it up, “Mysteries of the Nocturnal Forest” lives up to its name. It’s like walking in a misty winter forest at night led only by the light of the fullmoon.

Pretty Decent - 83%

Visionary, July 29th, 2005

Even before I knew where Evilfeast was from I guessed somewhere like Poland as Evilfeast possess that dark almost folk like sound that Polish black metal is so well known for. The band sound very similar to Kataxu but I wouldn’t quite put them in the same league as them. The production has that same airy feel and the vocals have that airiness that Kataxu and Leviathan have. There are some truly excellent ambient passages included in the songs and the synth adds a very mystique and sad atmosphere at times. However the combination with the guitars is a little questionable at times. Other than that I haven’t got anything else negative to say about this album. On the whole it is a very decent album and an excellent debut and I can only see Evilfeast getting better.