“The band’s potential is undeniable”
On “All That Drifts From the Summit Down,” A Dead Forrest Index dance upon a musical impasse. One end signifies a dedication to the “indie-folk” trend that Mumford and Suns began and the other takes a much darker approach to the folk sound more indicative of the metal bands of the world. In seeing the band live, opening for Chelsea Wolfe, I felt like they had a very dark, brooding take on the folk idiom, but their album doesn’t completely dedicate to this sound sometimes valuing immediately satisfying pop melodies a bit too highly.
The band’s potential is undeniable. Adam Sherry’s voice is beautiful with his harmonies leading into big moments. On “Summit Down” the joyous melodic layering is contrasted by distorted, droning guitars. “Cast of Lines” almost turns into a choral piece with vocals in many different ranges coming together for a truly beautiful climactic point.
The issue is the band doesn’t completely put themselves in unique territories from beginning to end. Upon first listen, I felt like “Sand Verse” was a weak spot on the album, which it is. The band simply writes a melody that could be repeated in the live setting, but this issue occurs throughout the album. Many of the songs seem to be really pleasant vocal lines that ride the beauty of Sherry’s voice rather than breaking rules in songwriting. For example, Sherry has a relatively basic “ooh” melody towards the end of “Myth Retraced.” It is hard to say what makes something catchy or poppy, but this album seems to do a back and forth and in these particular moments I can’t help but feeling like this band is trying to appeal to an “indie-folk” audience rather than creating a timeless piece of art.
It just feels like the band hasn’t completely committed to a specific sound yet, however, they seem to be developing in a positive direction and I expect a very interesting album from them in the future.