There’s seems to be some discussions out there swirling around the idea that Forgotten Woods are a legendary Norwegian black metal band. Hell, I hadn’t heard of them until recently which really surprised me as they were active right along everybody else in the Norwegian, second wave of black metal scene but you never hear their name mentioned. I mean, this album came out the same year as Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger, Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Emperor’s In the Nightside Eclipse and Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, albums that are held as masterpieces, made by some of the genre’s most highly regarded bands (well maybe not Burzum anymore). So where is Forgotten Woods place in all of this?
The thing about those four albums is that not only were they genre defining, they all bring something different to the table and all of them are unique to themselves. Such is the case with As the Wolves Gather. The album is, for the most part, more mid-paced in speed. There’s not the blasting drums and hyper picked guitars, instead the album is more atmospheric with wonderfully beautiful melodies. It’s almost doom in it’s musical style. The production is raw as you would expect for black metal from this time to be but not as raw as some of their contemporaries got. The vocals are shrill and nasty and fit in perfectly with the cold, winter like soundscape the album has.
Maybe it’s just me and I somehow completely missed this album and band or maybe it’s outside factors that have kept them from reaching more people but this album is fucking rad and would feel right at home with all your other, classic Norwegian black metal bands albums from that time.