The Forests Are Old With Grief is a brooding, sorrowful work of dark ambient dungeon synth conceived by sole creative force Night, lso known for conjuring the hazy ambient black metal of Procer Veneficus.
Originally recorded over a decade ago (simultaneous with Procer Veneficus’s Of Starfire and Blackshadows Crawling), World Untouched By Mankind remained unheard until it was entirely remastered this year specifically for a special release on the 29th May 2018 via Pacific Threnodies.
Five tracks of atmospheric synth and dark melodies, The Forests Are Old With Grief is a hauntingly familiar yet rich listen. World Untouched By Mankind look to deliver an ancient sound and do it with ease.
The five tracks that make up this release aren’t for those looking for heavy or forcefulness. No, this is a release all about beautiful darkness. Close your eyes and you’ll see a centuries old forest, deep and unaffected by mankind. It’s silent except for the crunch of dead leaves and branches that litter the mossy floor. The sun occasionally breaks through the thickness making you appreciate the warmth.
The longer you walk, the feeling of having stepped back in time is with you all the way. Then you start to tire, the sun is setting and the air is getting cooler. The shadows grow and the each new step feels like one too many. You stop to get your bearings and only then do you realise your lost. Every tree looks the same, you have no idea what direction you came from so all you can do is carry on walking.
The album creates great imagery but it has its faults. Beneath the Great Oak is really repetitive and while it does take on a much darker tone near the end it takes far too long to get there. The high-pitched synth becomes drone-like & starts to irritate.
It’s followed by the much more subtle, The Earth Shall Be My Grave and the chilly Cold Caverns Of Time. Both are shorter and much more atmospheric based affairs. They expand on the feeling of isolation and loneliness.
Those Who Watched As The World Fell Silent closes out a driven soundtrack that, while flawed, excels in creating and telling a story perfectly. If synth isn’t your thing then you’re not going to really be able to take much away from this though.
World Untouched By Mankind – The Forests Are Old With Grief Full Track Listing:
1. The Forests Are Old With Grief
2. Beneath the Great Oak
3. The Earth Shall Be My Grave
4. Cold Caverns of Time
5. Those Who Watched As The World Fell Silent
You can order the album digitally and via cassette over on Bandcamp.
World Untouched By Mankind - The Forests Are Old With Grief (Pacific Threnodies)
The Final Score - 6/10