Outer edges: Italian post-rock trio Be Forest spread darkness, murk on fog-filled ‘Knocturne’

Now and again, we like to navigate away from the land of pure metal and explore what’s surrounding it. There are sounds that might not be metallic and—god forbid!—brutal, but the music easily could stimulate those of us who are not chained to a particular style and can find enjoyment elsewhere. That brings us to Italian post-rock trio Be Forest.

The band released their first record “Cold” in 2011, making quiet waves underneath the surface as they honed their craft. The band just released their spellbinding third record “Knocturne,” an album that plays much like multiple movements of a greater whole and can bring you into territories that are home to bands such the XX, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins, and Zola Jesus. It’s a dark, stormy record that’s ideal for listening when trying to shield yourself from driving storms that soak you, no matter how hard you protect yourself. The band—bassist/vocalist Costanza Delle Rose, guitarist Nicola Lampredi, drummer/synth player/vocalist Erica Terenzi—conjures a haunting feeling, as even after multiple listens, it still gets into my chest and makes me think of some of the turmoil and chaos I’ve faced in my own life, and how confronting those has brought my psyche into better balance, as this music helps me sink underneath everything.

“Atto I” starts the record, a bubbling, foggy instrumental passage that digs deep under cold waters and comes out on the other side at “Empty Space,” where guitars pulsate and send shivers. The track feels misty and numbing, as the soft vocals pass over, sounds swim in shadows, and dreamy transmissions flood your senses before melting right into “Gemini” that gets a kick start with the drumming before entering a dreary space. This is ideal music for when it’s raining and chilly outside, as the vocals flutter, the melodies bask in the murk, and then the track reverberates into “K,” bringing things to life. The track bounces along in ashy colors, as the precipitation soaks the ground, the darkness strengthens its hold, and the singing soothes before fading into atmospheric haze.

“Sigfrido” has the drums rupturing, gothy guitars driving, and a thick bassline driving, amplifying the sense of moodiness, though some different colors are allowed to rush in. The singing comes in practical whispers, as things breeze toward “Atto II,” another instrumental that has guitars dripping and the fog rising. “Bengala” has guitars cascading, the singing coming across more boisterously, and the melodies bouncing off musical waves. The leads then take over, leading the charge before dissolving into the night. “Fragment” immerses itself in charcoal waters, with the singing hovering like a spirit, and some cool chord progressions charging cells. The track is emotional and frosty, bleeding away and leading toward finisher “You, Nothing.”  There, the guitars well up as everything pushes down the hill, with a chorus built on repetition and drone, leaving your head swimming. The leads stretch over top, with the song haunting your bones before bowing out.

Be Forest isn’t the heaviest thing you’ll hear musically in 2019, but it’s definitely weighty from an emotional and psychological standpoint. “Knocturne” deserves to find the larger audience this band always richly deserved, and this immersive, mesmerizing piece is an ideal one for people to hear now, especially as things are so bleak in too many ways. If you relish music that chews at your vulnerabilities and takes you to gloomy places, this record will overly deliver.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/beforest3

To buy the album, go here: https://wewereneverbeingboring.bandcamp.com/album/wwnbb-099-knocturne

For more on the label, go here: http://www.wwnbb.net/

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