Friday, 19 July 2013


Over a month ago we heard the fabuloso 'Thor's Stone' by the rather esoteric Forest Swords, a song beset by wild bamboo flutes with more than a little what's-in-the-woods-? mystique about it. Today we have more delights from this experimental British artist, whose music conjures foggy marshlands or murky forests where clusters of ghost lights float panicked ahead of something truly strange and unknown in the unseen depths of nature, in the very trees themselves, in the water, in the air. The grass is cold and wet. The paths are muddy. Britain is an ancient forest swimming in bogs. Huge angry clouds crouch over the land forever.

That's the kind of vibe you get from past songs and also their latest tracks - and the delight I was speaking of today, 'The Weight Of Gold' plays up to the heaviness implied by its title. And it certainly doesn't skimp on the brutal mysticism that seems to emanate from this sound like curling smoke. It's there all the time, hanging in the air. Hear fo yoself.

The song announces itself as an existence in and of itself with distorted horns, the atmosphere conjured with plucked overdriven stringed-something-or-other and scuttling percussion that is both huge and raw. It pounds away, clacking woodblocks against dull-yet-explosive taiko-sounding drums. Sub-bass creeps in from somewhere, giving a nonchalant groove to a wholly non-nonchalant sound. Beginning at the final third of the song, the high-pitched strings play a cyclical melody, summoning the final push that seems to burst forth from the very earth itself, scraping and distorted completely unintelligible/inhuman vocals that reverb and echo as if travelling through twisted jagged caves to get to your ears.

That beat. Wow. It kills your ears but it's kinda gloriously satisfying, that thud of a drum booming, sounding closer to your heart than something more electro-based. It's a tatty kind of sound, rough-around-the-edges, like the kind of paper you'd stain with tea, crumple up, rub with dirt and burn holes in when you were younger to make a treasure map. It's faux-mystic, of course, cause you can't very well record true sounds of unearthly things, but you can whisk your imagination away to a landscape that shudders heavy with meaning and magic.

This is the second song to come from Forest Swords' upcoming DEBUT ALBUM Engravings out 26th August on Tri Angle records.

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