A Forest of Stars - Opportunistic Thieves of Spring (Transcendenal Creations)
By: David E. Gehlke
[6.5/10] “A Forest of Stars.” Sounds celestial, doesn’t it? And yeah, it’s not a total stretch to say this United Kingdom-based black metal ensemble at least have some of those airy and poignant moments only a self-effacing BM band would have. After all, these guys take themselves very seriously with their Victorian-era clothing and a singer by the name of Mister Curses. Good one – “Curses.” For added effect, he should have put an exclamation point behind his name. Now that would be threatening. Mister Curses!
At any rate, Opportunistic Thieves of Spring (what?) is the band’s second full-length, demonstrating the usual pattern of stringent melodies, off-beat arrangements and the occasional female vocal accompaniment from one Katheryne, Queen of the Ghosts (!). Good lord, who named these guys? As if Mister Curses was bad enough, now we have a Queen of the Ghosts, with an exotic spelling of a pretty common name.
Now that we got that out of the way, A Forest of Stars manage to be engaging on “Starfire’s Memory,” a song that blends multiple components (female vocals, razzed chords, blasts, etc.) into one giant concoction that sits nicely amongst the album’s other tracks. Some folk ideas are explored during “Sorrow’s Impetus,” while “Delay’s Progression” peels off a handful of scathing riff ideas. And while all of these ideas are nice and good, as a whole, A Forest of Stars fails to put it all together, resulting in a disparate mish-mash of styles and ideas that result little in the way of being memorable. Rather, this is just a caustic swirl of black metal nothingness, for the most part.
Nevermind their horrid garb (believe it or not, there’s actually worse-looking bands out there), A Forest of Stars suffer from the same problems most young BM bands endure, which is the inability to reign in their abundance of ideas for concrete, memorable songs. Suffice it to say, the only thing memorable about Opportunistic Thieves of Spring could be the accompanying promo shots. And Mister Curses. Oh, sorry – Mister Curses!