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  IF THESE TREES COULD TALK
'Red Forest'
(Metal Blade Records)
Release Date: 27th January 2015 (re-release)

Luke 'Loki' Milne


Luke Loki Milne



if these tress could talk

It's review number two of If These Trees Could Talk, and it's time to turn our attention to the band's follow-up album, 2012s 'Red Forest', re-released today (27th January 2015). With the opening chords of 'Breath Of Life' creeping into the foreground, I find myself yet again welcomed into the open arms of the colourful and intriguing world painted so vividly by the post-rock act.

True to form, the band follow their debut release with yet another atmospheric, slick and sensual musical journey. The 'Variation On A Theme' style of their previous release returns and is a most welcome element, once again creating an overall experience that is progressive and evolutionary across the albums nine tracks, weighing in at a total play-time of just over 45 minutes.

The flexibility of ITTCT is undoubtedly present here in 'Red Forest', as the band expand further on their musical content and ideas. Where perhaps their previous release caught my attention most in the ever-changing passages of guitar work, the most interesting element for me in 'Red Forest' is the percussive work.

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It may be that I wasn't listening out for it the previous release, but there are some interesting rhythmic patterns displayed in tracks like 'The First Fire' and 'Aleutian Clouds' that catch my attention above the melodic work. The back-line of a band is often overlooked by many music fans in my opinion, hidden underneath the veil of distorted guitars and melodic distractions. Here in 'Red Forest', however, it seems to jump into the foreground, creating a rhythmic foundation that accentuates the melodic values of each track, creating an earthy, almost tribal feel.

That's not to say that the melodic work of 'Red Forest' is forgettable; far from it, in fact. Yet again ITTCT have weaved an intricate, living melodic experience that is coloured with change and vast influence, from distorted passages of tension and grandeur to clean, euphoric breaks of reverberating and delayed calm. Once again, the Ohio Post-Rockers present to me a broad and well-rounded experience that never seems to stay still and never ventures into dull territory.

In my review of 'Above The Earth, Below The Sky' I made reference to a likeness between one of the album's tracks and a popular piece of film music, John Murphy's 'In A House, In A Heartbeat'. Within 'Red Forest', the most obvious connection I can make is in the album's mid-point track 'They Speak With Knives'.

The track features a clean, delayed melodic phrase that in many ways calls to mind the works of Minimalist artist Steve Reich, most notably the three-part piece 'Electric Counterpoint'. It may seem a bit of a stretch to some, but there's definitely elements of this ilk that are present in my mind while listening, and certainly stands out as a strong track within the album.

Yet again I find myself toying with the matter of the instrumental nature of the band's work. There's a part of me that would love to hear some "bleeding hearts" style vocal work, or some impressive and emotional lead guitar work, if only to avoid the album becoming simple background noise.

While the album does a fine job of maintaining interest, there's a part of me that wonders just how different the experience would be if the music was vocalised and given a form of lyrical poetry. I'll leave that question open for debate, as it's really down to personal preference. I'd certainly be keen to hear people's thoughts on this.

So to sum it up, what do we have here? In truth, If These Trees Could talk have thoroughly impressed me with both albums. They've certainly found their style and seem comfortable moving freely within it. It's hard for me to pick one album above the other, as both 'Above The Earth, Below They Sky' and 'Red Forest' stand tall and memorable as musical releases, both collectively and independently.

The 'story' that is told within each album is captivating, breathtaking and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, to say the very least. I must say that from a personal perspective it seems a strong move from Metal Blade Records to present fans with a reminder of the band's material ahead of their upcoming release, and I'm certainly looking forward to their third studio album with baited breath.

Click here for the review of 'Above The Earth, Below The Sky'...


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27.1.15







WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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