Doom metal, unlike the typical kind of heavy metal that I know, has slower tempos. Neither intensive nor aggressive, it is a subgenre of heavy metal that put aside flashy technique to express true feelings. Heavy, gloomy, depressing, doom metal surrounds you with darkness and unconsciously fills you heart with sorrow. Doom is a painful story, an ominous omen, an intersection of calmness and outburst. It is a world without light, without hope.
Forest of Shadows is a Swedish metal band formed in 1997, Halmstad. It is a doom metal band that features in somber mood and beautiful melody. Death and sadness are the eternal themes of its music. The band don’t have a lot of songs, but every single one of them is a classic, prompting tears.
“Eternal Autumn” is the first song of the band that I listened to and it mesmerized me. It is the kind of music that hit directly to your heart. The prelude of the song is a one-minute long flute solo. The pure sound of flute adds a sense of sadness to the song. Followed by heavy drum and stunning vocal of the lead singer, the show starts. It is not just screaming or fury, it is the expression of despair. Instead of darkness and dread, the snarling of the vocalist conveys a sense of vulnerability, pain and helplessness, evoking empathy of the listeners. Also, the lyrics of the song are no less beautiful than a poem. “Amidst withering leaves I had found my beloved . Bloodstained and pale, falling into the forever. So silent.” Every word is worth savoring. No flashy guitar solo, no intensive bass and drum, yet inundated with endless despair and depression, it is the true doom metal music. The deep growling, low-tuned guitar, heavy bass-and-drum sound show the power of metal. The band are equipped with both the strength and depth that are key elements of doom metal. “Under the Dying Sun”, the fifteen-minute long pure doom metal song, is another great work of the band. It is a dirge that expresses the pain of losing the love of life. Starting with the darkness and repression created by the guitar performance, the song is intriguing. A shocking growl leads the song to its climax, demonstrating the anger and sorrow toward the unfair fate. Simple yet powerful riff, unhuman like screaming, the song is full of surging passion and great momentum. You can feel the grief through the lyrics, the melody and the instrumental performance.
The music of Forest of Shadows is cruel. It makes you think, think who you truly are, think the true meaning of life. It drowns you in sorrow, making you feel the bitterness and grief in the song. As for gender, most of the songs of Forest of Shadow depict the pure and relentless kind of love, but in a depressing way. Differing from the stereotypical gender roles, male, in this case, are the ones that crave for the love of female. He is deeply in love with her and is miserable without her. “I am longing for you, oh queen of my desire.” “Oh deliver me from my sorrow” “You were my core you were my soul” These messages are delivered through the song, through the woeful and distressing lyrics.
Doom metal music combines the traditional heavy metal music with more subtle and delicate feelings, making it a unique subgenre of heavy metal. For me, it is beautiful and mind-blowing.