Calgary’s premier one-man band is back with a new album: DARK FOREST. Not to be confused with the British Traditional Metallers of the same name, Dave Parks is once more wielding a sharp blade with his third full-length album, “Land Of The Evening Star”, offering us the finest Epic Black Metal at least Alberta has on display.
Setting out with the soundtrack-worthy intro “Rediscovery Of The New World”, Parks has crafted a fine balance between the Northern cold of winter and brilliant melodies that mesh together in a symphony of darkness. Frenetic drums and harsh screams contrast highly melodic guitars, which are supported by orchestral keyboards soaring towards the heavens in the very fittingly titled “Like Towers They Reach To The Sky”, a track showing maturity beyond the young age Parks is. Many bands would wish they had the skills to create arrangements like this one! If there ever is a movie that needs a majestic Black Metal soundtrack, this is the one they’ll have to go for!
These soundtrack-like elements thread through many of the songs of “Land Of The Evening Star”, giving the songs a more majestic character than ever, especially when some of the light choir is laid over powering double-bass, as on “Vesperia”. On “A Few Acres Of Snow” he even emulates Abbath’s trademark snarl to complement the icy character of the once more aptly titled track, which is another outstanding creation
With “Land Of The Evening Star” Dave Parks once more proves that he masters various approaches to the Epic Black Metal style, all of which tied together into a grand total of DARK FOREST. Obviously he utilizes a drum computer and doesn’t try to hide it, but he never lets the mechanical sound get in the way of the songs.
The best effect you will get when putting on your headphones and closing your eyes, so the music can take you away on a journey through the “Land Of The Evening Star”, a journey I will be making again soon!
(Online August 4, 2012)