Dark Forest are a UK quintet, who present us on “The awakening” a slab of traditional heavy metal. With tradional I mean that the songwriting skills of the band are very much influenced by Iron maiden post “Powerslave” with some Helloween of "The keepers“ era. Every song - besides opener & title track “The awakening" which is just boring so skip it if you plan to pre-listen - displays skilled musicianship and both guitarists seem to be very much top of their league, it being on the twin leads, it being when they go at it against each other. Dare I say that next to Murray/ Smith or Tipton/Downing the UK can now be proud of Horton/ Jenkings…. So far for the positive news ….. It’s a pitty that the vocals are not of the same level, singer Josh Winnard unfortunately is not in the league of Bruce Dickinson or even more Michael Kiske of Helloween fame….. mind you he is not singing out of tune nothing like that, but it seems he is lacking the power that the named examples do have, resulting all to often in a to monotone approach of his vocal duties, in some cases it almost seems like he is holding back iso. of going ball’s out… Maybe it’s just a question of getting more miles on his vocal chords, I give him the benefit of the doubt. Overall an enjoyable release due to the shredding skills of Horton / Jenkings…..
Friday, February 28, 2014