Monday, October 30, 2017

ESKAPISM - Tales of Elder Forest review

ESKAPISM - Tales of Elder Forest 

Folkvangr Records 

Once again the amazing Folkvangr Records puts out another superb release of black metal for your cold and grim listening pleasure. This time around it's the debut full length by ESKAPISM from the Ukraine. The band is a two piece act featuring Zymobor performing vocals, guitars, bass as well as programing (I'm guessing that's the drums). The second member is Dyvozor who performs the keyboard work as well as bass duties.

Originally the nine song Tales of Elder Forest release came out late last year. But by standard operating procedure, Folkvangr Records gave it the cassette treatment and re-issued it in 2017. I've spent the better part of a week listening to this. Obviously trying to find words that fit in order to describe it but mainly from the sheer enjoyment of the music. I have to say this year I've heard plenty of bands from the Ukraine especially black metal bands and ESKAPISM is definitely the finest one.

Musically they're not what you would call a traditional Ukrainian black metal sounding band (aka: lots of atmosphere, rolling tremolo picked riffs that carry you on waves, songs dealing with nature or how bout I just say DRUDKH) On the contrary ESKAPISM are all about symphonic black metal and in a fierce way or better yet think Norway's take on symphonic black metal. We're talking icy tremolo picked melodic riffs, harsh and tormented vocals, keyboards that act as glue to songs and of course savage drumming (albeit programmed drums).

There are times on Tales of Elder Forest when you think ESKAPISM are channeling EMPEROR. Songs like "The Sun Is Falling Into Autumn Embrace" or "The Sad Moon Is Rising In The Sky" convey that well. At other times they're like, dare I say it, a more symphonic version of HATE FOREST. All in all I'd say this duo have recaptured the early 90's symphonic black metal sound without sounding retro or pushing the cheesy grandiosity which plenty of others have done to my disgust.

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