Celestial Forest is the debut offering from Wisconsin black metal one-man-project Aeolus and it’s a good, potential-filled release that you’ll definitely want to revisit. We decided to take a track-by-track look at the EP.
Divinity In Darkness
Although only an introductory track, it’s a powerful inclusion in its own right and is a great little atmospheric, with the acoustic guitar atop of the gentle background noise. It’s almost like the calm before the storm and sets the scene and mood well for what’s about to come.
The Embrace Of The Shadows
As the first full-length track of the EP, it always helps to have a good and powerful opener to draw the listener in, and this track does it perfectly. The link between the gentle and lulling tones of Divinity In Darkness and the harshness of this track somehow manages to be perfectly seamless and the immediate clashing guitars and aggressive vocals really leave an impression on you, and holds your interest as the track progresses. The track does end a little abruptly, however, swiftly fading out and it feels a bit out of place – it perhaps would have worked a little better if it had faded out a bit more slowly.
Fallen Leaves is a bit more of a difficult track to get into. As it’s quite a quiet number, you really have to listen hard to appreciate it otherwise you’ll miss it! It works as a linking track between The Embrace Of The Shadows and the following track Spirits Adrift but the soft tones are so inaudible it’s subsequently quite difficult to connect with and it doesn’t quite leave the right impression by the end.
Perhaps the strongest track of the release. Sitting in the middle of the EP, it starts off softly and slowly with not much more than just a guitar, with a thicker and fuller sound kicking in a little later. The energy behind the guitars in the latter half of the song is great, and the vocal performance near the end is something to behold – if you’re going to check out just one track from Celestial Forest, then make sure it’s this one.
Keeping on the same format as the rest of the EP, Repentance is another softer and gentle track. With nothing but an acoustic guitar for the duration of the song, it’s a highly emotive piece and lets the talents of Semyaza, the mastermind behind the operation, truly shine through. An excellent inclusion.
This is indeed an interesting one, as listening to it makes you feel like you’re in a celestial forest due to the nature sounds at the beginning. This track really works well as a summary to the EP, and it feels like ideas and moods from earlier on in the EP have been revisited for this track, which is great because it almost serves as a summary of the album whilst still very much being its own unique track, with it feeling like Aeolus is taking the listener on a journey through the forest through its ten-minute duration.
Celestial Forest even features an impressive cover of the mighty Satyricon’s song The Wolfpack. Whilst it’s impossible to quite reach the dizzying heights of the quality of Satyricon’s rendition, Aeolus does a really great version of it and whilst it’s quite a ‘safe’ cover due to staying largely quite true to the original, it’s an enjoyable listen and a most welcome addition to the EP, serving as a great way to round things up.
As a whole, Celestial Forest is a great debut EP. It perhaps would have been nicer to have a slightly cleaner vocal sound, and there are a few bits here-and-there that need tweaking, but it’s an all-round great EP and is definitely worth your time in checking out.