Carpathian Forest - Raw Mystical Black Metal
Formed around 1992, basically around the same time as other Norwegian bands like Gorgoroth and Dimmu Borgir, Carpathian Forest were widely hailed for their first ("big" label) release the MiniCD/EP Through Chasm Caves & Titan Woods (1995), which was very old-school black metal, with some keyboard use, it was very atmospheric, and many still call it their favorite CF release (a demo, Bloodlust and Perversion had been recorded before this, though it wouldn't be released until 1997, there was also a demo after that called Journey Through the Cold Moors of Svarttjern, which I believe was also collected on the above disc in '97. The underground support of both demos was the reason why CF got to release TCC&TW)). However the band went into hiding (due to reasons I'm (and most people) not sure of) and didn't return until 1998 with their Black Shining Leather album. On this album, the band combined a form of "Black Metal n' Roll" (which is essentially Old-School black metal), with beautiful symphonic black metal, to create an interesting and variated listening experience. This is still my personal favorite CF album. After this album came Morbid Fascination of Death, but then, during the recording of their next, Strange Old Brew (all in the same year (2001)), guitarist and co-writer Nordavind left the band on an aparently amiable basis, he simply didn't want to play in CF anymore. Nattefrost continued on though, despite a lot of fan pressure to not do so. Unlike many I don't think CF was all that affected by Nordavind's leaving, they stil continued to be quite good.
They have released one album since then, 2003's Defending the Throne of Evil, which was recieved fairly well, though not as well as their last few. On an aside, in 2004, Nattefrost released a solo album titled Blood and Vomit, which was very well recieved (I liked it a lot), as it is very old school and very very raw true black metal. It's also pretty fun at the same time, with tracks that have Nattefrost both pissing and vomiting. I understand that he was saying the new album should be pretty raw and old-school, so there's a chance that this solo project might be a clue as to CF's future.
The band also has yet to "sell out," despite constant claims that Nattefrost is some sort of "whore" and the band has become commercial. None of this makes sense to me, for as far as I can tell CF is no where near being as well known as say Dimmu Borgir, and instead are having the same fate as Gorgoroth, they continue to be true as possible, and create good quality music, though they're pretty much ignored by the "elite" kiddies. All I have to say to those people is that CF are one of the true elite. They've been around since the early 90's (even if they haven't been recording straight since then) and they are one of the truest bands I can think of. I don't mind the rock/old-school influence, because they combine that with more complex and interesting material. They've also kept up their quasi-mystical feeling in an attempt to create a atmosphere around themselves that is as mysterious as their music tends to be. Recent years have slowly broken that down, as they play live more and more, but still a strange atmosphere abounds around the band, no matter if you love them, or hate them.
A new album is in the works and should be released sometime later in 2005.
1992... Bloodlust and Perversion (original demo tape)
1993... Journey Through the Cold Moors of Svarttjern
1995... Through Casm Caves & Titan Woods
1998... Black Shining Leather
1999... Bloodlust and Perversion
2001... Morbid Fascination of Death
2001... Strange Old Brew
2002.. We're Going to Hell For this: A Decade of Perversions
2003.. Defending the Throne of Evil
2004.. Skjend Hans Lik MCD/EP with Bloodlust and Perversion Demo as an extra (not to be confused with the previous version that had different extras).
Main members, past and present:
Nattefrost, guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals
Tchort, replacement guitarist for Nordavind
Nordavind, ex-guitarist/bassist, co-founder and writer until Strange Old Brew.