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Fornost Arnor: The Death Of A Rose

Hailing from England, Fornost Arnor formed in 2005 by Greg Chivers and released their debut EP In Darkness We Rise in 2006. Apparently, the band's music was more in line with symphonic black metal until the more progressive sounding Escaping The Abyss, released in 2009. The new album The Death Of A Rose was released in July 2011 and features Greg Shivers (vocals, ebow, acoustic and electric guitar), Will Hall (lead guitars), Sam Austen (bass, clean vocals) and James Last (drums), the band's latest addition joining in 2010. Also included are guest vocalists Elle Torry and Jon Phipps.

After listening to The Death Of A Rose a few times it became clear that this is an excellent album and a very 'progressive' one at that. To be more precise, the band plays a style of progressive death metal that travels down many different paths. At one moment the band is brutally intense and the next an idyllic elegance unfolds enveloping the listener in sweeping acoustic guitar and pastoral bliss. It is these moments of contrast that make The Death Of A Rose so rewarding.

For those of you who appreciate the works of Opeth (think Blackwater Park) look no further than Fornost Arnor. A case in point are the vocals. There is a nice combination between death growls and clean singing, depending on the mood of the piece. Again, it is this contrast in styles that makes this music so appealing. Similar contrasts can be heard in the guitar. Heavy riffs that seem to be relentless are soon followed by gentle acoustic arpeggios and sweeping melancholic melodies. It should be enough to turn the head of many progressive music fans and as far as the metal crowd is concerned, well, this should be a no brainer.

A few of my favourites include the interesting "Rogue", featuring elegant acoustic guitars, melodic clean vocals and raging guitars riffs matched with fierce death growls, the progressive minded "The Death Of a Rose (Parts I and II)" where heavy Eastern tinged chords strike a balance with somber lead guitar and sweet acoustic passages and the moody "Farewell", which owes as much to Porcupine Tree as it does to Pink Floyd, making this the albums best song.

Without a doubt, The Death Of A Rose is one of the better metal albums I have heard in 2011. This is an album of tremendous contrasts, excellent musicianship and solid vocals. Nothing else needs to be said.

Track Listing:
1. Rogue
2. Nameless Fear
3. Path Marked Unknown
4. Lady Heresy
5. Aspire For the Darkest Hour
6. The Death Of A Rose (Part I)
7. The Death Of A Rose (Part II)
8. Farewell

Added: November 24th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2697
Language: english

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