Every great kingdom has its mystical forest full of bewilderment and perplexing paths. Enchanting life forms congregate on the forest floor while Medieval strongholds inhabit the space not so far off in the distance. What a time to be alive to experience such allurement and it’s unfortunate that we can’t endure that first hand. Thankfully, artists such as Sylvanum exceed with a particular mythical charm through their music, granting us the opportunity to partake in such monumental pleasures. On ‘A Forest Portal’ we are presented with a musical endeavor that showcases the attraction of ancient times in the most entertaining way. Eleven tracks of whimsical guidance create a galvanizing space of adventure and tranquility for forty gratifying minutes.
“As The Light Fades” begins with a deep rumble and harrowing soundscapes, as if traversing the darkest corridors of the forest. Serene synths and prominent textures signify a bright end for the path less traveled. Soothing leads and ambient fills create a monumental sound as this track is a cinematic adventure and properly starts this amazing album. “(Through The) Faerie Ring” commences with the sounds of nature and the peace that it represents. Chirping birds, clicks and clacks of various insects and an endless flowing stream makes quite an impact before layers of synth leads and ominous effects come into play. The arrangement slowly glides like the stream it overtakes and thrusts the listener on a courageous adventure through the paths of timber. “Midsummer Night” is my favorite track on the album and the arrangement waivers between whimsical leads and somber synth chops. Although there is a contrast of sounds, they fuse perfectly to produce a unique moment that is sure to garner repeated listens. Next is “The Dance Of The Nymphs” and the warping synth intro is reminiscent of that classic synthwave sound. Renaissance era leads erupt with a sense of accord and prosperity. The layers of activity in this track is quite compelling as they seem to be out of sync, yet blend perfectly. “Shrouded In Leaves” has a dreamy ambience that creates an endless depth of space, while reverberated keys play a symphony of eccentric harmonies. At various times, a flute effect, takes the lead and produces a magnificent tone that takes this track to another level. “Take A Darker Path” begins with a field recording of someone walking down a rugged path while crunching leaves and breaking twigs create a temporary diversion for the traveler. While traveling on, the soundscape fades into a melancholic arrangement with elongated keys and unidentifiable sounds. “The Search For The Sun” is a tranquil offering with a standout strings arrangement and the whirling ambient textures in the background portray a dreamlike state. The title track, “A Forest Portal” is a devious introduction with war-like percussion, blaring synth chords, and subtle hints of alluring melody. The combination of these beguiling textures creates an ambience for woodland appreciation and an inspiration for natural serenity. A brief narrative instills life into this otherwise uncharted territory. “A Glimpse Of Light Through The Trees” is filled with gloomy acoustic passages and ethereal keys that harmonizes in luminous beauty. The synth leads are a throwback to classic synthwave tones and are an imperative part of the mix. “By A Moonlit Lake” continues with the same sentiments of the last track and has a retrospective feel that is haunting and colloquial. The final track on the album is the illuminating, “Morningtide”. Complete with background ambience that produces a trance-like space this song is equally consumed with an array of effects and synth leads. Although short and to the point, it provides an uplifting ending to an amazing album.
Sylvanum is definitely an artist to keep an eye out on and if future sojourns are like ‘A Forest Portal’, then sign me up for the journey. From whimsical to melodic and a plethora of emotional sections, this is an album you won’t soon forget. The stellar production is an added bonus, creating a spectacle of theatric beauty. Although this album has been out for a while, I can’t recommend this enough. Please show your support for this fascinating artist and download ‘A Forest Portal’ from the link below.
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