Fornost Arnor – The Death Of A Rose

 The Death Of A Rose by FORNOST ARNOR album coverFor any others who may have expressed regret about Opeth’s shift away from extreme metal this year, it seems as if there is a band that seeks to carry on their torch. Fornost Arnor is a progressive metal act from the UK, and after some underground acclaim with their debut record ‘Escaping The Abyss’, they are back two years later with a new album that shows them tightening up their sound on the technical front. Although Fornost Arnor sound a little too close in sound to Opeth for comfort, the way they are able to take the style of another band and cater it to their own interests is impressive.

‘The Death Of A Rose’ starts off on its best note, and an incredible one at that with ‘Rogue’, an incredible song that begins off with brooding acoustic guitars and some powerfully moving vocal duties shared between a male and female. The acoustic minutes sound like something that could have been plucked from Opeth’s ‘Still Life’, particularly the mellow section of their song ‘Godhead’s Lament’. The melodies and lyrics are beautiful and I found myself putting down everything I was doing when I heard ‘Rogue’ for the first time. As the music builds up to the inevitable metal fury, Fornost Arnor shifts gears and goes for… Opeth, circa ‘Blackwater Park’. Sensing a pattern here?

Truth be told, I can almost applaud Fornost Arnor for drawing so heavily upon Opeth, because with many parts here, it is if they have made a long lost Opeth album that could have come out in between ‘Still Life’ and ‘Blackwater Park’. Even when it comes down to the jazz-tingled metal solos or the precise guitar tones, Fornost Arnor seem to do everything they can to sound like Opeth. While I can say nothing about the bands originality (or utter lack thereof), they pay homage to the Swedish metal gods brilliantly. Sadly, the songwriting is not as memorable after ‘Rogue’, although the closing track ‘Farewell’ gets the brilliant melodies back in full swing.

As far as production goes, things can be heard clearly, and the acoustic sections here are mixed with a very organic and natural feel to them. When it comes to the death metal though, I would have less good things to say about them. The rather muffled and dry growls are mixed too highly, and the musicianship can get quite technical (something Fornost Arnor actually does better than Opeth) but feels a little too restrained for the most part, as if the musicians were far too concerned with making their sound as perfect as possible, rather than simply letting the passion through.

As far as progressive metal goes, it has ironically never been the most original genre, and Fornost Arnor makes no steps to change this pattern. Taken for what they are though, Fornost Arnor takes Opeth’s sound and puts their own spin on it, and for the most part, it works quite well. I can see fans of Opeth loving Fornost’s work within a heartbeat, and while I don’t think I feel right with the derivative nature of this band, they pull off the sound excellently.


1. Rogue – 09:59
2. Nameless Fear – 07:09
3. Path Marked Unknown – 07:43
4. Lady Heresy – 08:32
5. Aspire For The Darkest Hour – 10:39
6. The Death Of A Rose (Part I) – 07:43
7. The Death Of A Rose (Part II) – 03:18
8. Farewell – 06:27


Greg Chivers – vocals, guitar & acoustic guitar,
Will Hall – lead guitar
Sam Austen -bass guitar & clean vocals
James Last – drums


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