Following up from their demo Season of Sacrifice earlier in the year, Amidst the Trees (Forever Plagued) is the debut album from Finnish two-piece Taatsi. Taking their name from a sacrificial stone located in northern Finland, everything about the band image conveys a connection to nature and ancient spirituality, retreating from humanity and returning to the earth. It is apt then that they describe themselves as ‘Nature Mystical Black Metal,’ with each track fitting firmly within atmospheric black metal.
At just 30 minutes long, the album cycles through keyboard melodies backed by mid-paced guitar harmonies and topped off with distant screeches from vocalist A. When done well, atmospheric black metal can transport the listener to cold and distant lands, carving out vast mental landscapes of forests and mountainous peaks. Taatsi however have failed to inspire, lending more to directionless meandering lacking any real sense of progression.
While the keyboards go some way to creating mystery, from opening track ‘Malign Ghost of the Wood’ to closing track ‘Hunts in the Night’s Mind,’ they dominate the sound, forming a constant barrage of noise.It doesn’t take long for the sound to become tiring and repetitive, lacking in any real inspiration or new ideas throughout with only slight changes of style in tracks like ‘Gateways of the North’.
Amidst the Trees has nothing new or inspiring about it. The constant inoffensive and repetitive nature of the album leaves it languishing and ultimately, although the album plays at earthly spirits and ancient wisdom, it fails to really inspire or capture any depth of the imagination.
Tatsi is too kvlt for Facebook