Black metal music can be found almost anywhere nowadays but to hear of a band from somewhere different, it is very intriguing as we like seeing how each country takes on this genre. Empire of the Silent Forest is a Costa Rican melodic black metal band that has been around since 2008. Their debut album Night Spirits in the Mist was originally an EP released in 2012 but re-released as a full length this year through the band themselves. The group approaches each song with a 90s black metal feel intertwined with ominous keyboards to add a evil and haunting atmosphere. The vocal approach is also unique as not only does the songs feature the usual black metal shrieks and screams but also some death metal grunts and otherworldly gutturals as well which bring a new approach and sound to what we would consider the usual path of black metal.
The music production is also very reminiscent of second wave black metal as it has a live rehearsal sound and feel which in this genre is a plus without it sounding like everything is grainy and distorted. Each instrument breathes freely and can be heard clearly making this album a strong release. The track Under the Full Moon is the highlight of this album as it shows each musicians skill as well as the vocals are a lot more varied here giving this track the strongest proof of this Costa Rican band’s effort and skills, even including a nice guitar solo. With all this said, I can say that Empire of the Silent Forest has produced an amazing debut album and honed their skills over these years. If you are a fan of Barathrum, Morior Ergo Sum, Opera IX, old Limbonic Art or just amazingly talented melodic black metal, then this is a must have release and we look forward to hearing more from this unholy manifestation of true evil!
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Neil Andersen