It’s not every day that I get to premiere a classical music project sung and named entirely in French and also featuring some of my favorite voices in black metal adjacent spaces today. And yet, here we are. Forêt Endormie (“Sleeping Forest”) are all of the above, spearheaded by Jordan Guerette (Falls of Rauros) on vocals and sundry other instruments. Guerette is also joined by one Lauren Vieira (Dreadnought) on vocals and synths, and a host of other talented musicians which make up the ensemble. Together, they’ve made Une voile déchirée (“A torn sail”) a breathtakingly gorgeous album from which we’re proud to premiere a track from today. Head on down below to lose yourself in the wanderlust that is “Les champs négligés” (“The neglected fields”)!
The first thing that might strike you about the track is Sarah Mueller’s excellent violin work on it. Indeed, the violin is one of the highlights throughout the entire album. On “Les champs négligés”, it is joined by softly strummed guitars and a deep piano (played by Emmett Harrity), which lend the main melody a percussive undertone that is pure joy. Deep in the depths, a double bass rumbles (played by David Yearwood), underpinning the track’s loftier harmonies and tones. On the converse side, floating above the instrumental composition, is Guerette and Vieira’s wonderful duet, Guerette’s gruffier timbre melding gorgeously with Vieira’s sweeter tone.
I’ve listened to the album a few times now since receiving it and its those vocal melodies that send shivers down my spine every single time. Make no mistake however: Une voile déchirée is a labor of collaboration and no one instrument could be considered superfluous or redundant. Listen especially to the last passage on the track, which begins around the three minute and fifteen second mark. All of the instruments drop for a few seconds, highlighting the mournful guitar. After about ten seconds, everything comes back, “riding” on top of that same guitar line. The violin begins to articulate the ending of the track, while the double bass and the piano collaborate on lending it a tone of finality, a tone which finally fades away to leave the guitar on its own again, as the tracks shimmers away. Throughout these final moments, the vocals revisit the themes from the track, shedding new light on the rest of the instruments with their melodies.
This cohesiveness is perhaps the track’s (and album’s) true genius; it feels much more fleshed out and well realized than other groups deemed “projects”, an ensemble with an artistic direction and style all on its own. If you like what you hear, “Une voile déchirée” releases on September 4th. You can head on over to the band’s Bandcamp page to pre-order it.