Druadan Forest sets release date for new album

Author Benedetta Baldin - 20.1.2024

Werewolf Records announces February 23rd as the international release date for Druadan Forest‘s highly anticipated fifth album, “Dismal Spells From the Dragonrealm – Part 2”, on CD format. The vinyl LP version will follow later this year.

By now, Druadan Forest should require little introduction. From their demos in the late ’90s to the fever of work from 2016 onward, this Finnish entity has created a vast and magical world like no other. Naturally, it should come as no surprise given that main man V-Khaoz has been an incredibly prolific veteran of the black metal underground for over 25 years now, and concurrently numbers the likes of VargravEmbryonic Slumber, and Grieve among his endeavors. With Druadan Forest, however, the emphasis has always been on the atmosphere and its transportive qualities. Whether the medium is ominous, titanic-gait black metal, cosmic ambient, pure dungeon synth, or some symbiosis of those, it matters not: the story – and the voyage – from this realm to another is paramount.

After the interstellar ambient of 2022’s “Portals”, Druadan Forest returns to a medieval age with “Dismal Spells From the Dragonrealm – Part 2”. As spelled out by its title, “Dismal Spells From the Dragonrealm – Part 2” is a companion record to 2019’s “Dismal Spells From the Dragonrealm”, arguably V-Khaoz’s most massive work to date: four tracks across 73 minutes, a none-more-immersive journey that felt even vaster than its epic length suggested. While scaled back to 38 minutes and comprising eight component tracks, “Part 2” is no less immersive; if anything, it portends more magick and daresay whimsy, further fleshing out Druadan Forest‘s pure dungeon synth worldview. The track titles give credence to this parallel shift – “Moonlight Sorcery,” “Summer Night Orgies,” and “Spells and Magic Potions,” for example – while others suggest specific locales, like “Wizard’s Hut,” “Witches Lake,” and “Black Towers of Kharanos,” altogether serving as a sonic canvas for RPGs in the flesh or within the shadow soul. For his part, V-Khaoz stays within the parameters of dungeon synth – and, indeed, that was the aim with Part 2 – but he’s never skimped on its sonic palette, always rendering his tones in rich, 3D sound and tastefully embellished songwriting; this is far from the pre-programmed, one-note garbage borne of Bandcamp trendiness. Almost deceptively soothing at times, the sometimes-sparse canvas of Part 2 nevertheless reveals shimmering expanses perhaps more on par with “Portals” than the first part of “Dismal Spells From the Dragonrealm”. 

But no matter where you meet Druadan Forest, the man remains a master of mood, and he again offers infinite landscapes on which to roam. “Dismal Spells From the Dragonrealm – Part 2 “is suitably completed by breathtakingly old-world cover art courtesy of Misa Horkio.

Preorder info can be found HERE. The aforementioned cover art and tracklisting are as follows:

1. Born From the Unholy Fire (Part II)
2. Iconoclast
3. Aal Apam Li Aamnuk
4. Strife For Blood
5. Life in Death
6. To Die a Thousand Times
7. Summum Bestiae
8. Phosphoros
9. Concerto of Sodomy
10. Celestial