Review from Grizzly Butts

Posted by Nick Skog on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 Under: English
Review from: Grizzly Butts
Published: April 14, 2020

‘Hierophant Violent’ is the debut full-length from San Francisco Bay area atmospheric rock/ambient metal project Forlesen consisting of two extended (~17+ minutes each) pieces that aren’t so much challenging as they are evocative, and demanding of a patient and willingly immersed mind. Their whole gig consists of atypical ambient post-rock with some subtle extreme metal elements that’ll be particularly warming if you’re a fan of some of the related projects of this eclectic group; You’ll likely recognize some key characteristics, such as certain vocal timbre, in relation to Lotus Thief and perhaps by virtue that’ll indicate related projects Botanist and Kayo Dot to some degree. The intention of these pieces is less academic and purely emotional in its communication. “Following Light” and “Nightbridge” are captures of grief in process, emotional lows rising and falling upon self-preservation, and perhaps some cathartic realization as one might steady themselves in the depths where tragedy would place them. They’ve pulled from lo-fi black metal, dark ambient, and more directly from slowcore (and I’d say darkwave to some degree) influence upon the intimate-yet-expansive post-rock movements of ‘Hierophant Violent’. 

“Following Light” requires some resignation for the sake of understanding where Forlesen‘s narrative begins, mournful but not tortured, in contemplation. The piece approaches tentatively, barely just arriving 13 minutes in where the ethereal fog of it all quickly turns to snarling under its collective breath as the song ends. “Nightbridge” is the payoff to some degree as a less helplessly droning second half provides some leg lifts out of the molasses. This is where I think Lotus Thief fans will feel warmest before some depressive black metal leaning parts distinguish the piece in its second half. Artful as ‘Hierophant Violent’ is at a glance (especially considering the incredibly fine Benjamin A. Vierling cover art) the shadowy, ephemeral bursts of interest within its heavy atmosphere aren’t massively cerebral, instead driven by a feeling one might feel pressured to recreate if not already in a state of gloaming. The restless leg-tapping spastic in me couldn’t always find the patience for “Following Light” so, I’d not always been able to meet Forlesen on their own terms yet I still had a fine time with this record each time I did put it on.

In : English 

Tags: "forlesen" "forlesen hierophant violent" "lotus thief" "botanist band" "kayo dot" "palace of worms" "vesper moth" "nero order" 

 Released: April 18, 2020
Genre: Ambient / Doom / Black Metal