Published Oct 16, 2018Though the gnarled text on the cover may deceive you, New Brunswick-based blackened folk metal act Thrawsunblat are stepping away from their metal roots on IV: Great Brunswick Forest, which you can now stream ahead of its October 19 release on Ignifera Records.
That's not to say the album isn't still dark, as its sullen mood is very much still in the shadows of the titular forest. There is a tremolo picking section in "Here I Am a Fortress" that could sound black metal if distorted and amplified, but given its acoustic state, it settles on haunting instead of heavy.
"Via Canadensis" gets a bit more electrified, but it's more of a folky rock ditty than something you'd expect from former members of doom band Woods of Ypres, while "Singer of Ageless Times" soars — in stark contrast to their alma mater's depressive dirges.
"Thus Spoke the Wind," meanwhile, gets about as close as you're going to a blast beat, but the brief (still folky) frenzy is followed up by some tender picking.
The sound was carefully constructed with vocalist/guitarist Joel Violette's Fredericton home as the inspiration. Violette explains how he admires the ability of Scandinavian bands to transport listeners there, and speaking to Exclaim!, he elaborates:
This album explores the very idea of folkiness in music, and is in a way the New Brunswickification of a darker folk sound. It uses locations, images, characters, and archetypes that all fit into this sound as analogies to map to our own lives, and to the things we are trying to figure out, things we are trying to accomplish, and things we want to contribute to the world. All of these questions this album poses and explores, and it hopefully provides the listener, if not answers, at least a path to start down.
Begin walking that path by listening to IV: Great Brunswick Forest in the player below.