Despite the markets and scenes opening, a Russian band on a label as Elitist still is something rather special. FOREST STREAM is one of those rare occasions and with their album "Tears Of Mortal Solitude" they show us why Earache decided to sign the trio from Chernogolovka, because in the Doom/Death Metal-genre they definitely have to be considered a contender with their debut album only.
Their influences clearly lie in the British Doom of the Nineties, MY DYING BRIDE and consorts definitely have left their mark on FOREST STREAM. So if you like the likes, then you have made a biiiig step towards FOREST STREAM already. The music is meandering between slow paced passages and some faster outbursts, yet always retaining this distinct melancholic touch that is so prominent with the British bands, without sounding like a copy of any of them.
From the beginning the trio builds up a highly interesting atmosphere, dense, melancholic, but despite the at times colossal playing time of the single songs (the longest track exceeds 12 minutes!) they never get boring or lengthy, but altogether varied enough to keep the interest of the listener at a high at all times. Also the gruff voice of singer Sonm The Darkest fits almost perfectly into the warm and flowing compositions that at times remind me of a flowing river that just takes you away, floating on its gentle waves, leading you into the gloom, bereaving you of your hope, yet at the same time making you feel comfortable and at ease, not caring for what happens to you or around you…
The in my opinion absolute masterpiece of "Tears Of Mortal Solitude" is "Last Season Purity", the mentioned 12 minute monster, which combines everything that the FOREST STREAM sound contains. If you would say MY DYING BRIDE meet OPETH meet KATATONIA meet an own identity, then you would not be that far away from having at least a rough outline of what these Russians are all about. Now these band names should only be used as a guide line, not as direct comparison, so beware, if you try to take this too literally.
I do not really want to pick out any other single songs, because "Tears Of Mortal Solitude" should be beheld as a whole, because of the overall atmosphere that just grips you from the opening moments of the intro "Autumn Elegy" and goes through to the dying moments of "Steps Of Mankind", taking you on an emotional journey, with many different moods and shades, utilising different elements (including clean vocals) to convey these emotions to the listener.
Also blessed with a crystal clear and strong production courtesy of the band itself and complemented with a very fitting artwork, "Tears Of Mortal Solitude" is a true masterpiece of Doom/Death Metal that ANY fan of the above mentioned bands and this style in general should definitely check out this CD, you should be able to find a new, valuable companion!
Available at www.metal-cd.ru! (Online June 24, 2003)