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Forest of Shadows > Promotion-CD 1999 > Reviews > Det_Morkettall
Forest of Shadows - Promotion-CD 1999

A Great Display Of Potential - 85%

Det_Morkettall, November 20th, 2011

Forest of Shadows has been a major musical influence on me for a while now. Not only that, but it's been one of the few bands to stay on page 1 of my Last FM library since I started my account. Niclas Frohagen is a master of emotional manipulation through sound, but the full extent of his ability was only first seen in the EP Where Dreams Turn To Dust. For the many demos before that release, however, he was continually building his musicianship and his song-writing style. Needless to say, this particular promo CD is a very good display of his ability before his full potential was discovered in the later releases.

The album has a very bleak and flat sounding production style to his, and it fits well with the atmosphere. It's almost as if one were listening to an early DSBM demo, only without the tremolo riffs and shrieked vocals. The guitars seem to mesh with the bass, and the drums are programmed (which make them stick out like a sore thumb, but they're so organically programmed that I have no complaints about this). As for the vocals, they're mastered to take a bit more of a back-seat than some of his later songs. All in all, the original track is very well composed and feels complete despite its short length (for a Forest of Shadows song, that is).

The Katatonia cover is the same, but it's got a very special atmosphere to it that I didn't feel in the original. Perhaps its just much better as a lo-fi recording? I'm not sure, but either way it sounds great on this particular recording. The melody on the original track sounds more compressed and less separated on this cover version. It's a nice change in atmosphere though, and completely welcome.

Overall, this demo is for fans of gothic doom, and it's really great, but I don't think the one 4 minute song and the Katatonia cover do Forest of Shadows complete justice. If you want to be impressed with his earlier efforts, you'd better listen to Under The Dying Sun instead.