Mystic Forest - Romances
Black Metal with Neoclassical influences and arrangements.
9 songs (42:34)
Release year: 2004
Mystic Forest,
Reviewed by Daniel

Many times we find bands urging to follow certain pre-established “rules” in order to fit in a certain scheme, in a certain genre. Imagine that; in order to create a piece of art certain rules and delimitations are followed! What can be more stupid than to set boundaries to the pure creative process that art is?! Unfortunately my beloved Black Metal seems to be one of the most frequent examples of this stupid behavior. Many Black Metal bands seem to struggle to avoid being unique, they seem to loath originality.

Fortunately for us, there are still a few genuine artists that boldly stand against this type of mediocre behavior, artists that aren’t afraid to move forward and make a statement, artists that say: “Fuck your rules and fuck your trends” by creating genuine art in which purity and evolution walk hand in hand and the envelope is pushed further than anyone could even imagine; one of these (handful of) artists is Monsieur Stefan Kozak of Mystic Forest.

Romances is an album crafted with such a degree of delicacy and sense of composition you will be in awe from the very first spin.

It is well known that many Black Metal bands throughout history have been influenced by Classical Music, but never has this been so obvious. In Romances we find Kozak (who handles all instrumets and vocals, leaving only lyric writting to Baalberith) creating deep melancholic soundscapes by efficiently combining Neoclassical music and song structures (to a certain degree) with traditional, and not so traditional Black Metal. Everything from blast beats to tremolo picking riffing and other Metal techniques blend seamlessly with beautiful piano runs, exotic-sounding accordions, a few female vocals and grim Black Metal growls, and some of the most exquisite arrangements I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing, creating a jewel no Metal fan should miss.

Kozak’s love for Classical Music is made even more obvious by the interludes in which he plays Chopin and Debussy as the sound of rain helps to add an even more melancholic atmosphere. These interludes are not only a nice touch but also a link that makes the album flow seamlessly, making it even more enjoyable.

The album’s production is something very enjoyable as it works perfectly with the music created. It is raw enough to be Black Metal, but yet clear enough to let all the beautiful arrangements shine.

Romances is one of those albums that will spellbind you for months to come, one of those albums that transport you to another place where melancholy and the beauty of darkness reign supreme, and I assure you that once you know that place, you’ll never want to leave. Mystic Forest are true artists of the XXI Century and they deserve your undivided attention.

Killing Songs :
Every single second of this album is brilliant.
Daniel quoted 94 / 100
Misha quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Mystic Forest that we have reviewed:
Mystic Forest - Green Hell... reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
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