To be released on the 15th of May, through Iron Bonehead Productions, Runespell and Forest Mysticism gather their swords and shields and sail away in search of new lands. 3 tracks each, Runespell having the honour to start off the fight! Nightwolf’s approach to Black Metal remains very close to what he offered us in his previous record (“Voices of Opprobrium”): more bsed on 90s Black Metal, Polish mostly, than any Cascadian influence. I did enjoy it more than “Order of Vengeance”, but even though I do like very much what bands like Wolves in the Throne Room and Panopticon brought to the Folkish/Pagan side of Black Metal… the Polish end up taking the cup, being Graveland the bigger names, despite all the “lesser positive” things about the man behind the creations.
Moving on to Forest Mysticism’s side of this Split: 3 tracks, 1 of them (“Rivers of Silver (II)”) an instrumental piece, very soft sounding, but at the same time very epic. Well, Forest Mysticism “drinks” from the same fountain Runespell does, but the end creation is a bit different: I still place D’s work within the more Folk/Pagan Black Metal sphere, but it is a harsher approach to it. Closer to 90s Norwegian Black Metal, Forest Mysticism ends up giving us 2 good pieces of Black Metal, aggressive, melodic, mean and fierce! Some bits, here and there, that might bear a resemblance to Pagan and Folk, but that never quite “conquer the throne completely”. The duality between both bands, even if we might find, somewhere along the way, a point of contact, gives a very pleasant vitality to this release. Do give it a go, mates. (DanielP)