Album Review: Forrest – Soluna

Soluna

FORREST SOLUNAReleased July 16th 2015

Words: Julia Grantham
Soluna is the debut album from Welsh four-piece Forrest, a band with a small but loyal following. This LP is sure to be well received by fans. Immediately obvious from just a few seconds into their opening track, is the post-rock and grunge influence in their music; almost early Muse meets Mogwai with a contemporary twist. The opening track Ambition; is reminiscent of Explosions In The Sky, and has all the ambience of a swirling post-rock hit. It starts slowly, with a melodic, soothing intro before becoming gradually heavier on the percussion; a fantastic crescendo ensues making for a brilliant way to open their album. The second track Remember, is very early 90s grunge stylistically, fused with British sounding vocals. Even from just listening to just two tracks, you can really get a strong sense of power, passion and energy from this band, hinting at a force to be reckoned with if ever you were to see them perform live.

As the album unfolds, the energy remains constant, unwavering, and demonstrating that this is a band with a point to prove; it’s not just music, this is a debut that wants to put it’s mark on the scene. A few tracks in, Close To Me is a rather eclectic mix of genres, it has all the energy of a hardcore metal track, yet with much more mellow vocals, and as with most of the songs, is very rock/grunge driven. Just when it feels as though the songs are all constructed in much the same way, a track like Sol injects a lovely slow, ambient vibe, proving that Forrest are more than just another alternative rock band with a few fast guitar driven tunes up their sleeve. They are capable of delivering poignant,ambient melancholy tracks as well, which are beautifully juxtaposed with their heavy rock trademark. Sol is the only instrumental piece on the album, and is perfectly positioned almost like an intermission, or interval and acting as a transition between both halves of the LP. It is similar to Sigur Ros, and provides a wonderfully reflective side to Forrest’s music.

Luna is the heaviest sounding track on the album and is without doubt the most energetic. It is impossible to listen to it without wanting to leap up and down! Although this album is packed with percussion led rock numbers, it is the slower more ambient tracks that feel the most accomplished, and have an extra depth to them. Thus, Meet You There is perhaps my favourite track. A tale of reconciliation between two people, and in my opinion the most skilful song on the album. Two beautifully harmonised voices weave in out of each other, like a conversation almost, with slow-paced but defiant guitar and a a steady bass. It is easily the most atmospheric song on their debut and a great way to end the album. A close second would have to be Standing On Stone. It has the same dark brooding atmosphere of Meet you There, and showcases the band’s ability to create ambience in much the same way. What I love about this album is the fact that the music is very clearly influenced by the 90s grunge scene in Seattle, but this is not a trip down memory lane; the music is fresh, contemporary and very British. Forrest are sure to do well with this album. It’s energy and determination is evident and definitely worth a listen. If you like post-rock fused with alternative rock and grunge, then this should be the next album on your list to download!

Listen to Meet You There here:
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