Dark Forest
Ridge & Furrow EP
I reviewed UK’s Heavy/Power Metal band Dark Forest’s fifth album Oak, Ash & Thorn a few years ago. I raved about the album and now they have returned with a 5-song ep Ridge & Furrow.
Opening with the longest track, “Skylark”, excellent double bass drums with the continued Iron Maiden influences all over the place with some melodic yet excellent power metal riffing. The guitar melodies are terrific and yes Dark Forest always puts a smile on my face when listening to their music. It’s happy and what power metal is about. The ep cover transports me to a time when knights, castles, and dragons ruled the land.  The guitar melodies at the 2.45 section are great with the song slowing down with great vocal harmonies to keep you pounding your chest. Scorching lead guitar solos come in and are pumped in the mix to great effect. Josh Winnard lets his set of pipes out in this track. Impressive. Nice song ending with the chirping birds.

The birds carry over to the next song, “The Golden Acre”. Nice bass guitar strumming and the metal hits the pedal at the 45-second mark with melodious and impeccable guitar harmonies. The song, judging by the lyrics, is a battle song and the double bass is organic and hits you in the chest with its pounding beat. The song does not have many time changes but I appreciate its simplicity.  The title track opens with a great guitar riff as the song sweeps into a slower speed with vocals coming in to sing the song title and the song captures the cover of the ep perfectly. Some stop n start guitar riffing, mixed with the drums and Josh belting out some nice aria sounding oooohhh’s and ahhhh’s. He does this throughout the track and check out his vocal range at the 5.20 section. Superb.
Birds chirp at the start of the last song, “Under the Greenwood Tree” and the speedier tempo returns with nice drum rolls over the guitar melodies. Josh sings the song title and things get rolling as this song has epic greatness all over it. Hold up that goblet of Meade and gulp it down over and over on this one, readers.  This is a great song and just as the EP opener, both tracks must be in their live set.
Dark Forest’s Ridge & Furrow is 26 minutes of pure Dark Forest and is a nice stop-gap release before their next full-length album. The production is great as is the musicianship. I don’t get so pressed that some of the songs are repetitive. For me they’re easier to remember and latch on to. These songs are catchy. Great ep. I’d love to see the band come to the US and they’d fit nicely on a tour with Visigoth and Eternal Champion.
[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
September 30th, 2022

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