Land Beyond the Forest
- 1.No Place, Nowhere01:29
- 2.Land Beyond the Forest05:06
- 3.Return to the Solar Temple03:20
- 4.Asylum Retrograde04:41
- 5.Unholy Pagan Fire (Beherit cover)04:00
- 6.A Touch of Medieval Darkness (Desaster cover)06:06
- 7.New Mind (Swans cover)05:05
It’s been quite a while, since ‘Hosszú út az örökkévalóságba’ their album of 2013, since I listened to a Siculicidium’s release. So let me take it from where i left of and speak about their EP release of 2016 called ‘Land Beyond the Forest’. This was released in 21st of November of 2016 by Sun & Moon Records in digital, into the version that i have, a 12’’ vinyl limited to 300 copies and a year later they released it in cassette format limited to 100 copies. This EP contains seven tracks, the first four are the band’s new material, the first one is an atmospheric intro and the rest are their new Black Metal songs, and the remaining three are covers, with overall duration of about thirty minutes. I believe that the cover describes exactly what the band will show with their songs. It is a painting done by Sami Albert Hynninen of Reverend Bizarre, which shows a path inside a dark, majestic forest which leads to a mysterious, magical entrance, maybe a portal leading to another dimension. The band, at least by its releases until 2012, has been using hand drawn, colorful paintings for their covers which always had some connection to nature. The difference here is that the cover is in black and white for the first time and although we are in a forest so the connection with nature exists, we are being lead to something different.
So, the new tracks are a path connecting their old releases with the new elements that they want to add. You will find the mid and slow tempo riffs, the monotonous guitars, the punkish influences and the references to bands like Inquisition, Tormentor and the first wave of Black Metal. However, the melodies and generally the atmosphere has become darker and more threatening, setting up a horror scenery. The riffs are melodic, combining the obscure atmosphere, inspired by the old, black and white, horror films, with the punk, straightforward attitude and the old school Black Metal feeling. The tracks last from four to five minutes and their structure is straightforward with that punk, repetitive approach to be the main element, while there are a few very nice passages and bridges, leading to the songs climax. The tracks that the band has decided to cover, are perfect examples to show the bands influences. The first one is Unholy Pagan Fire from Beherit, a dark mid tempo, repetitive song. The second one is A Touch of Medieval Darkness from Desaster, an epic with folk elements song. The last one is New Mind of Swans, a song that the band shows great admiration as they have been inspired by it in their Keringők (Valses) EP. This one is a repetitive, psychologically intense song. If you combine all these influences, you get the music of Siculicidium.
As always the instruments’ performance is very good. Pestifer is the musician responsible for the guitars, the bass and the music, while Béla Lugosi is responsible for the vocals and the lyrics. From release to release, i think that Pestifer is improving both in his technique but also his ability to compose, so here you will come across a cleaner style of playing in the guitars, more accurate but as passionate as before. The bass is supporting the compositions, giving depth to the sound. There are two guest drummers performing the drums and they are on the same level and their performance is steady and full of energy, while their lines are simple. The trumpets that they have introduced in previous releases, they are in here too but they appear in very few parts. The use of trumpets is an element that i liked a lot and i would like to see it to a greater extent in the future. The vocals are those characteristic, grumby, deep, Black Metal vocals, a weird mixture of Attila, Franta Štorm and Dagon. The production is clean and bassy creating a nice, warm, magical but dark and threatening sound, while the mixture is balanced highlighting the guitars. The lyrics are not contained in the vinyl version and i think the first two are written in English while the third one in Hungarian.
If you are following the band since their earlier releases, you have already noticed their slow and steady evolution from release to release. The material that they present here, is a bridge between their old releases and the elements that they want to introduce in the future and they have managed to do this transition successfully. The song that i liked most is ‘Land Beyond the Forest’. If you are a fan of the previous works of the band, you will certainly appreciate this one too. However, this release could be a nice way for those of you who do not know the band yet, to begin your journey into the world of Siculicidium.