First off, I have to say that this album is great. I really enjoy this album listen after listen. It’s truly compelling and constructed really well. There is a blend of influences coming together to make the particular sound come out of If These Trees Could Talk, and it’s very recognizable. From start to finish, there is a lovely blend of post-metal, post-rock, ambient acoustic/clean channel guitars and smooth bass grooves that work together to form these amazing works of art. The styles are very familiar to other bands if you’ve been listening to this kind of music for sometime. ITTCT have a rhythmic sense about them and their powerful grooves and riffs are similar to something Junius and Russian Circles have done. Their sense of melody and tremolo work is similar to Alcest and Falloch, those long winded chords that they do along the fretboard; there is no denying that their influence is similar to these other bands. I hate comparing bands to one another in my reviews but I couldn’t help but think of how much certain parts of Red Forest sounds like previously released material from other artists. ITTCT have created a remarkable album, don’t get me wrong…it’s just that I felt like I’ve already heard this before.
The album never loses focus, Red Forest progresses well throughout the entire album. Building energy within each song and gradually just gaining incredible power, starting a song off quietly and usually ending with band in full force jamming their hearts out. There are some great licks and incredible chords played on this album. If I were to compare even further, I got this Opeth and Tool vibe from the album at times. Sometimes the progressive build up stalls and ITTCT just jam for a little bit, which is where I got the Opeth vibe from. The Tool vibe was more from the bass guitar groove during a couple of songs, the rhythmic timing and pattern of some of the bass riffs definitely gave me that feeling. Another vibe from that band was during the last song, “When The Big Hand Buries The Twelve“, the guitar riff, followed by the build up then the loud breakdown part (not a deathcore breakdown) brings it all together and that’s when you get some chills down your spine. There are some really good songs on the album, my personal favorites are The First Fire, Red Forest & When The Big Hand Buries The Twelve. These are pure gold, these songs give the album their own breath of life and their own sense of character. ITTCT takes their influences and uses them in a way that is completely obvious, yet they put it all together and perform these songs like masterful artists.
The album as a whole is solid, fun and highly addicting. If you are a big fan of Alcest, Falloch and just really good post-rock material in general, then Red Forest is the album for you. It’s one of the better instrumental albums I’ve heard so far this year as well.
Pros: Terrific music/sound/tone/production, Songs are breathtaking, Catchy melodic riffs and rhythm keep you interested
Cons: May be repetitive to some, might be declared “derivative” because the album sounds so close to other post-rock acts