If you are familiar with Old Forest and their previous works, you will notice right away that Dagian does not have the same grim and abyssal sound that you are use to hearing. With Dagian, Old Forest implement a much more atmospheric approach and take on a certain mysticism about them. The method to their madness is certainly black metal through and through, but with this new release and with the addition of certain elements, Old Forest creates a more atmospheric and elusive sound.
Four songs doesn’t sound like a whole hell of a lot, but when each song is ten minutes plus and the album tops forty minutes, that is a lot of ground to cover. With that time, Old Forest paints mystic and colorful soundscapes. Saying that you will be transported to another dimension or transported to another place is a bit strong, but with their new found atmospheric qualities, Old Forest certainly does take you on a little bit of a journey through a fog covered forest.
Since the music isn’t as grim and bleak as you are use to, you feel at times in certain parts of each song that it is a little bit uplifting. I don’t mean uplifting in the sense that it’s spiritually uplifting, or puts you in a good mood uplifting, but uplifting in the sense that it is a little lighter and not entirely dismal.
As mentioned, Old Forest does not abandon their black metal roots even though their music is a bit more atmospheric. Among the melody and the thick amounts of fog is the blistering black metal lurking in the shadows. For the majority of the album you get tempos that bounce between slower and more melodic tempos, and once those fade a more mid paced black metal slithering tempo is introduced.
Even with their black metal roots in tact, other elements take over and play a big part in the overall sound of Dagian. With the addition of keyboards you get that cold and bitter feeling and with the addition of some clean vocals you get that haunting feeling. Other than the spectral cleans in the background you get wailing voices as well that almost call you off into the all encompassing darkness.
Old Forest provides you with slashing, melodic and rhythmic riffs, sound and pummeling drumming, and a bass that is entirely forceful. Screamed out in blood gargling fashion are the cold grizzly vocals that rip and penetrate through the music. Old Forest with their new release conjures up soundscapes that are equally light and dark. Dagian provides the old school black metal aficionados with plenty of material to be excited about, and at the same time it gives people that are looking for that little bit more of atmosphere and melody something to be excited about as well. Overall, there is something here for everyone, and Dagian is an album that shouldn’t be passed up.
The title track to Dagian can be found here for all of your black metal listening pleasures!