Opethishness is my Word Of The Day. It's used to describe musical style. It means, and I should hope this is self-evident, reminiscent of Opeth. And it is a fine adjective to have bestowed on any band, for Opeth are giants striding amidst the progressive metal crowd.
The band who have particularly earned this magnificent title today are Fornost Arnor, for their second album entitled The Death Of A Rose. Starting out deceptively soft, folky and melodic, it doesn't take long before complex acoustic riffs, clattering and battering of drums, electric guitar noodling and make-you-crap-yourself death vocals blast their way to the fore. The musicianship is tight, proficient and feels throughout the album that everything is exactly where it's supposed to be. For a self-release (albeit through their own label) this is one hell of a polished record.
One of the beauties of complex progressive metal like Fornost Arnor's, or indeed Opeth's, is that the band don't stick to a single sound. The crushing riffs come shuddering to a halt before a short melodic solo. The acoustic twists and turns of folk-inspired prog explode into death metal chugs and blasts. It keeps you on your toes, and never gets dull. Even the quiet parts, with their soft, almost gentle sound, are just a breather before the next sudden stop, sudden start, or complete change of direction. It's metal that is easy to enjoy the experience of really listening to. Progressive metal for the music lover.
If you like the sound of all this, (and let's face it, who wouldn't?) you can buy the CD straight from the band on their Witch King label for a mere £8 including postage. Or get both albums for only £12. Considering that HMV have priced up The Death Of A Rose at £10.99, there's really no excuse not to support the band directly. And buy a T-shirt. They're pretty damn cool, too.