Last week, Black Country heavy metal minstrels Dark Forest unveiled their fourth album ‘Beyond The Veil’ (Cruz Del Sur). Whipping up stirring paeans to nature, the seasons and the mighty, gallant genre of power metal, these Brits deservedly took their place among the great and the good who are putting the traditional metal values at the heart of their song-craft.
Falling in love with each and every song on the album, we cornered main song-writer, lyricist, guitarist and all-round English eccentric to find out what was on the Walkman on those long meanders through the woods to inspire such an collection of heavy metal anthems. Here is the tape he made for us, if you need us we’ll be in the forest…
Isen Torr – ‘Mighty & Superior’
This is heavy, thundering metal at its best from the genius that is Rich Walker (Solstice). Full of energy and power!
Blind Guardian – ‘The Soulforged’
I always loved the way Blind Guardian infuse elements of medieval and folk melodies into their music, great example here.
Forefather – ‘Miri It Is’
A brilliant take on a Middle English poem written in 1225.
Iron Maiden – ‘Dance Of Death’
Maiden always has to be in there! I chose ‘Dance Of Death’ partly because of the story-telling aspect and partly for the folkish flavour of the riffs.
Steeleye Span – ‘Cam Ye O’er Frae France’
Atmospheric, dark version of a traditional Scottish folk song from the time of the Jacobite Revolution.
Jethro Tull – ‘Hunting Girl’
My favourite Tull era, both ‘Songs From The Wood’ and ‘Heavy Horses’ are incredible albums.
Elvenking – ‘Pagan Purity’
‘Heathenreel’ was always a big influence, for me this song is one of the best examples of power folk.
Falconer – ‘Boiling Led’
Another great band which infused both power and folk in a unique way.
Blackmore’s Night – ‘Keeper Of The Flame’
Ritchie is my biggest influence as a guitarist and I love the music he’s doing these days. It’s easy to hear Dark Forest in this song.
Skyclad – ‘The Widdershins Jig’
One of the first songs to fully incorporate folk music and heavy metal. A great, trudging, earthy sound.
Leprechaun – ‘Knockgrafton’
Side-project from the Elvenking vocalist Damnagoras. As a keen reader of folklore, I love the story telling in this. The Legend of Knockgrafton is a tale that was first written down by Thomas Crofton Croker in his three volume work ‘Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland’, 1825 – 1828.
Falkenbach – ‘…As long As Winds Will Blow…’
Wonderful, stirring melodies and rousing lyrics here. A really refreshing sound from one of the first Viking metal bands.
You can read Louise’s full interview with the band and stream ‘Beyond The Veil’ at Noisey’s website
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