If you are a first time listener of WOODS OF DESOLATION, go and buy first two releases before reading this to truly understand the brilliance behind D.’s work. As The Stars is the third full length by the Australian solo artist with the help of session artists Vlad from Drudkh on drums, Luke Mills from Nazxul and Pestilential Shadows on bass, and Old from Drohtnung on vocals. His works include his debut album Toward The Depths (2008) and the follow up Torn Beyond Reason (2011), both very successful and creating much anticipation for this album.
The album begins with the very chilling track “Like Falling Leaves” which has that melodic feel but also creates such a melancholic atmosphere as if you feel a heavy sorrow inside but you’re okay with it. The next track “Unfold” follows the pattern with a sound reminiscent of old Katatonia with a mix of depression, darkness and sorrow for good measure. All the tracks stand out in their own way as well as also continue the pattern further down the spiral of depression that Torn Beyond Reason last left us with. Tracks “And If All The Stars Faded Away”, “This Autumn Light”, and “Withering Field” are the recommended listen because those three really stand out from each song’s slow and melodic start to the raw aggression as they pick up speed. Haunting melodies dance around D.’s guitar work as Old’s vocals send chills down your spine. This album is instrumentally flawless from the transitions of feeling from song to song to the raw emotion felt in each track, this album is the epitome of what depressive black metal should sound like.
If you are a first time listener or a fan of bleak yet melodic, haunting but beautiful and intense depressive black metal, give this album a listen, actually, just listen to all the albums by Woods of Desolation and you will truly understand why he is Australia’s premier depressive black metal artist. The album is available now through Northern Silence Productions and I highly suggest adding this one to your metal collection.