Calgary Epic Metal Band Dark Forest had its Edmonton release party for Land of the Evening Star Friday night at the Pawn Shop, and I must say it was a pleasure to have them. Dark Forest’s particular sonic field is massive. The entire performance felt very surreal. Their dark progressions were melodic enough to put me in a bit of a trance and I feel as though the show could use some psychedelic imagery to enhance that effect. Don’t get me wrong, this was far too heavy to be Pink Floyd and the band by no means was limited by an absence of production, but I honestly think that a trippy video vignette featuring somebody tearing their own flesh off, like in the film version of Comfortably Numb , would really enhance the vibe set by the walls of ominous choir and string arrangements infused with the chugging rhythms and melodies of the band. I would definitely recommend a look at Dark Forest’s new album on their website.
My only complaint with Dark Forest was that it had to follow two high octane performances by Edmonton bands Armifera and Sonorous Odium. These bands were much more in your face then surreal, and in comparison Dark Forest was a tad low key. Armifera is a progressive thrash metal band with speedy musicianship and solid stage presence. It’s always good to see a bassist holding his tongue in place while attempting a complex riff at high tempos. The band gets extra points for their well developed personas. Their front-man made their performance especially memorable by swinging from the rafters, rocking a barb wire covered mic stand and a big Armifera banner that he wielded alongside his comrades and their axes. So Metal.
Sonorous Odium was incredible as usual. They continue to solidify themselves as one of my favorite Metal acts. Everything you could ask for was there, from the synchronized hair flips to the raging blast beats. It was good to see them in a venue other than the Starlite Room. Keith Tib’s massive drum set managed to stay on the platform for the entire performance which is a plus. Speaking of Mr. Tib, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him enjoy himself as much as I did Friday night. He’s usually quite energetic, but this performance was borderline maniacal. Honestly, he had this massive smile on his face that reminded me solely of Christian Bale in American Psycho. If you like metal and you’ve never seen Sonorous Odium play, shame on you. These guys are everything metal should be. They provide screaming and sweeping solos by Wally Fischer, massive riffs from Wally, Eric Rodgers and Cody Peters, a vocalist that could shake the gates of hell in Curtis Vieville, and a drummer that could rival the likes of Neil Peart. I look forward to the album that they are currently writing and recording. I will most definitely be at that CD release party, and so should you.
-Eric T. Behr