Dark Forest is quite a nice surprise. The band comes from UK and their sound could best as NWOBHM but with elegant folk elements so to say. Also, one could say that they are continue the story once started with Skyclad since the visual appearance also remains a lot of Skyclad. They have just released their 4th full length Beyond the Veil and there’s a lot of talking about Dark Forest. So, if you adore Iron Maiden and Skyclad you’re on the right place.
Hello, first I would like to congratulate you for the really good brand new album! Please, could you tell us something more about Dark Forest since this is your first interview for Metal Sounds’ pages?
Hello and thank you very much! Yeah of course, Christian formed Dark Forest in 2002 and the band first started playing gigs in 2003. Between 2004 and 2006 the band released a demo and two EPs and Adam joined as the drummer in 2004. The band developed a following and were playing shows up and down the UK. The band released the first, self titled, album in 2009 and Paul joined later that year on bass guitar. Later in 2009 the ‘Defender’ EP was released which was followed by the second album ‘Dawn of Infinity’ in 2011. During this time the band had gained more of a following and were playing more in mainland Europe as well as in the UK. I joined Dark Forest in 2012, and a few months later Pat joined and the line up has stayed the same since then. We continued playing shows and writing music and released the third album ‘The Awakening’ in 2014. We played more shows after that including Live Evil, the Annihilation of Bavaria (with Atlantean Kodex) to name a few and started writing for our next album. When all the material was ready we went into the studio in April and recorded ‘Beyond the Veil’ which was released a few weeks ago!
Dark Forest has just released brand new full-length Beyond the Veil so how would you like to present your latest issue to our readers from your point of view?
Beyond the Veil is what I consider to be our strongest album to date, it’s very uplifting musically. I also think that its more diverse and complex than our previous efforts. The album is fast paced, upbeat and filled with folk influenced melodies!
Dark Forest style could be described as a sort of mixture between traditional heavy metal (NWOBHM) and some folk influences. How would you like to describe your style? Also, songs are written in slower temp as well with a sort of doom-like vibe.
We’ve been described as many different genres over the years. People have called us Folk Metal, Power Metal, Traditional Heavy Metal, NWOBHM etc. I personally don’t think we fit into one specific genre, as you said we’re a bit of a mix so I tend not to put us into a category, we are what we are. I usually just refer to Dark Forest as a Heavy Metal band.
We do having some slower songs, Earthbound would be an example, but even that has fast sections in it. We don’t play as fast as Thrash etc but I would class our material overall as being fast paced.
New record sounds indeed well produced. Where did you record the album and who was the producer?
We recorded the album at Hellfire III studio, with producer/engineer Ajeet Gill. He’s brilliant at what he does and myself and the rest of the band really can’t thank him enough for the countless hours of work he put into the album. We’ve recorded with Ajeet before and as we were so happy with the results he’s given us in the past we didn’t even consider going anywhere else to record ‘Beyond the Veil’. Recording in a place that you are familiar with and are comfortable in really makes the whole experience a lot more relaxed, which in turn makes you perform better.
The first think when I took a look at your cover was Skyclad 🙂 Who has done the cover artwork for Beyond the Veil? It indeed looks cool…
It was done by Duncan Storr, who has done a lot of work with Skyclad! So yeah thats why, he has a very unique style that is instantly recognisable. We we’re all extremely happy with the finished product, he has managed to capture the spirit of the band and the album within the picture which is no easy task. So yeah, it’s a fantastic piece of art!
As far as I have heard the album will be published both on CD and vinyl edition. Could you tell us something more about this matter?
We have always released our albums on both CD and vinyl, we didn’t consider releasing it any other way. Obviously CD’s are the most popular format of music nowadays so it always makes sense to release and album on CD. Vinyl is also very popular, especially within the underground metal scene. A lot of people I know prefer the vinyl over a CD, so its good to give people the option of a vinyl as well.
What could you tell us now about your other records? Since 2009 you have released four records including the new one. It will be welcome if you could add a word or two about your previous records?
Well I didn’t play on the first two albums, so I can’t comment too much about those haha. I was always a fan of them though, they are both solid albums. ‘The Awakening’ was my first album with the band, we recorded it in 2013 and it was my first recording experience as a vocalist. We recieved a lot of postive feedback upon its release. Our record label, Cruz del Sur, describes ‘The Awakening’ as a trasitional period for the band, which I would agree with. Me and Pat had just joined and we were all still getting used to each others abilities, this time around we were more solid as a group I feel. ‘The Awakening’ is little bit different from ‘Beyond the Veil’ as it has a slightly darker feel overall, but there are still at lot of uplifting moments and it’s an album we are proud of.
How about the possible tour dates? Are there any offerings from some festivals?
Yeah we’re playing Harder Than Steel festival on the 1st of October and Hell Over Hammaburg festival next March. We’ve got a lot more shows/festivals in pipeline as well so we’ll be announcing more live dates over the next few months!
As a matter of fact you have already received some really great reviews and rating concerning the brand new record Beyond the Veil so how do you feel about it?
Yeah the reviews have been really good! It’s a great feeling to be given positive feedback on something that you have put a lot of work and effort into. You never really know how people will react to new material, so it’s always great to receive positive feedback and we really appreciate the support that we have received!
Dark Forest could be count among this bands that bigger companies try now to avoid in a way, since they are more focused on some more hilarious power metal bands like Gloryhammer, Twilight Force, or some modern stuff. Do you feel that the scene is complete separated in this particular moment? There’s much more happening right now in so-called underground heavy metal scene than on mainstream channels. Do you are with me?
In a way maybe. There are a lot of underground bands at the moment that are putting out some great music, better than some bands on some of the bigger labels. I have mixed feelings when it comes to Gloryhammer, Twilight Force, etc. On the one hand, the musicianship is fantastic, i’ve listened to the first albums of both bands and there’s some really good melodies and compositions on there, coupled with very talented vocalists. Then on the other hand, I really can’t get into the fact that its a parody of one of my favourite genres. All these bands with some sort of over the top gimmick nowadays tend to do really well, I think its because people are instantly drawn in by the fun aspect of the band rather than the actual music. I wouldn’t go as far as thinking the scene is separated though, I have friends that enjoy both the mainstream bands and the underground ones. But I do think it’s a shame that some of the underground bands get passed over in favour of parody bands.
I would like to thank you for this interview and I wish you all the best! Thanks for great music!
Thanks a lot! All the best to you too and thanks for having me!
- Answers by Josh Winnard
- Interview by Marko Miranovic