In this decade, Future Of Forestry has set the standard for ethereal rock in the Christian rock circle. Their debut, Twilight, was cherished by those who took the time to look into it, and with the recent Travel EP series underway, more widespread interest in the group has rekindled. Some, however, forget about a very quietly distributed EP from the band, Advent Christmas EP, which released last year. With the Christmas season already upon us, FOF fans have much to love about the Advent Christmas EP.
The EP is only five songs long, but it's a long five songs, as the EP clocks in at around 27 minutes. Overall, the EP is varied in its instrumentation to keep things interesting, and while there are no original tracks here for Future Of Forestry to display, the famous hymns they cover here are excellent and compelling. Eric Owyoung's vocals aren't ever groundbreaking, per se, but they always rise to the occasion with each track, never losing their footing during the intense moments of the song. First up is "O Come O Come Emmanuel," and with a drawn-out epic arrangement, starting off slow to gradually build up, it's a blazing opener to the EP. Piano and violins make up the core of "What Child Is This," while "The First Noel" is mostly acoustic guitar driven, which proves to be a beautiful simple rendition of the classic. "Little Drummer Boy" is led by (surprise!) a snare drum's rattle, as a wailing electric guitar fills the song's breaks. "O Holy Night" is the grand closer to the EP, following the same manner as the opener. Starting off innocuously and leading up to a majestic peak, the song is expertly played and keeps interest through all seven of its minutes.
Advent Christmas EP, in all honesty, isn't all that upbeat of a release; however, it's just that that makes this EP a treasure. Owyoung and friends take their time with each track, and instead of being a bore to sit through like some drawn-out classics can be, each track is special in its own way. Christ's coming to earth is something epic and grand to consider, and the musical composition of Advent Christmas EP captures it quite accurately (by earthly standards, of course!). It's a different project for the season, but given the time, it'll grow on most who give it a chance. It's a magnificent seasonal project from Future Of Forestry, and I'll look forward to experiencing it in future Christmas seasons ahead.- Review date: 12/1/09, written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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