Foret D'Orient

In the world of Metal, there are some bands that greatly implement classical, traditional styles […]
By Kyle Harding
October 3, 2016
Foret D'Orient - Venetia album cover

In the world of Metal, there are some bands that greatly implement classical, traditional styles and influences in their music and work with those aspects from their core- Neoclassical Metal, Power Metal- even some bits of Technical Death Metal. Then there are some bands that sit on the opposite end of the spectrum and aim to be innovative, expressive, and aggressive through pure brutality and heaviness, like Extreme Metal or Black Metal. But only few groups exist who put the two together effectively, drawing in elements from both the Classical era and Black Metal. Classical music will always be a huge influence on all forms of metal, though its outright execution and symphonic tones used in conjunction with raspy growls and blast beats are still in a relatively small realm. One of them looking to expand it is FORET D'ORIENT, hailing from the beautiful, half-sunken city of art and culture: Venice.

FORET D'ORIENT is a unit that advertises itself as "Atmospheric Black Metal", though I'd categorize them more in the way of Symphonic Black Metal, with ripping electric guitar and drums amidst harps, organs, pianos, and an arrangement of strings that are still used in a traditional way (and mostly recorded live in a studio). After starting in 2009, they have released an EP and, now, a full-length album to reminisce on their home, "Venetia".

As far as first efforts go, I was incredibly surprised with how "Venetia" went. The mixing was fairly even, the music was composed wonderfully, and the use of the more traditional instruments, hand-in-hand with gritty, darker music, is quite refreshing. The guitars by Marino De Angeli are, at times, flowy and melodic with beautiful tone while, at others, are fast and technical, yet also rhythmic with the signature tremolo-picking progression found in a lot of Black Metal. Emiliano Rigon blasts away on drums with speed and precision, oddly fitting for the more traditional style this group takes, and not overbearing when need be. Marco Barolo rips a bass in conjunction with the drums with a dirty, rumbling tone. He and Emiliano share keyboard duties together, shifting back and forth between piano and dark pipe organs. The vocals by Roberto Catto are fierce and gutturally forceful, however operatic when bound to the instrumentals, and always on-point with pitch. Finally, the band's full-time harpist, Sonia Dainese, plucks delicately and beautifully at "Venetia's" melodic moments, adding that extra touch needed to make the music that much better.

The album begins with an intro that, I'm happy to say, actually leads into the next song, not fading or losing its climactic touch, which many bands can fall victim. "Venetia" starts more classically and grows more monstrously as the musical journey progresses. "A Reitia" and "Lapanto" go down more instrumental paths with intricate compositions, relying more on traditional strings and harps- the calm before the storm. Pieces like "Sogno De Vis" and "Dominio De Mar" go over the top of the hill to the other side, with more blast beats, louder growls, and even some of those darker symphonic elements- lower strings and pipe organs.

The only thing that really stuck out at me was the way the bass was mixed. Though the dirty and loud grind is one of the black contributions, it was brought forth maybe a bit much, and I don't say that often about basses (usually, it's the other way around). The low rumble sometimes drowns out the lead treble instruments that we naturally focus on and can throw us a bit off-guard. The performance of the instrument itself was stellar and fit in well with the overall movement of "Venetia", but needed to be balanced.

"Venetia" was a vibrant album from start to finish, putting me in this foreign place wrought with culture, allowing me to walk through with splendor and wonderment. The legends of days past would be proud of this effort, taking the extremes of their world and joining them with the extremes of ours, blended together into something fresh and gorgeous.<

8 / 10









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"Venetia" Track-listing:

1. Sacrum Militare Oratorium
2. A Reitia
3. Dal Mare Alla Terra Adhuc Viventi
4. Lepanto
5. Sogno De Vis
6. Dominio Da Mar
7. Adagio In Sol Minore

Foret D'Orient Lineup:

Emilio Rigon - Drums, Keyboard
Marco Barolo - Bass, Keyboard
Sonia Dainese - Harp
Roberto Catto - Vocals
Marino De Angeli - Guitars
Simone Giorgini - String Arrangement
Luca Grandinetti - Guest Vocals

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