Black Forest Fire: Transit of Venus
Aiming to make a big splash with their first album, Transit of Venus, Black Forest Fire has every reason to deliver something amazing. The band has one hell of a story; bot meets girl, they play a few songs, boy invites other boy to join in on the fun, and before you know it they’re in a recording studio. To top things off their album artwork was designed by a very particular Storm Thorgerson. Sound familiar? Mr. Thorgerson is notorious for working with many bands, designing album covers for everyone from The Offspring to Pink Floyd; that’s saying quite a lot. With all this momentum behind them, supporting them, you would believe that Black Forest Fire would have produced an album that’s absolutely groundbreaking, outstanding, marvelous even, but they did not. The truth is, the album constantly teases you; you’re convinced it will get good any second, you’re convinced you’re going to have an absolute eargasm on that next song, “This is all just a build up!” you tell yourself, but before you know it, the album is over, and you’re left asking, “That was it?”
Okay, Transit of Venus, really isn’t that disappointing; it has it’s moments and you can see how a song like “August Spring” might go down well with a cold one. Take away the reputation surrounding this band and you’re left with a pretty alright album. Black Forest Fire is a nice break from the hecticness of today’s rather noisy world of music. Transit of Venus is simple. There’s no absurd amount of instrumentation, there’s no in your face singing. You can sit back and just listen without being bombarded by a wall of sounds. Yet maybe this is also where the album falls short.
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot you can do with a guitar, a set of drums, and a bass. There’s a lot you can do when one of your band mates can play a number of instruments. You really can’t expect much of any of it from Transit of Venus. There is no crescendo. There is no real build up. You won’t hear much of the band’s talent. Some songs (I’m looking at you, “Do It For Sara”) are just plain too long. They bring nothing spectacular to the table. There’s nothing dynamic about “Sweet Oblivion.” There’s really nothing in this album that makes you sit back and say, “Wow that was something else.” It’s forgettable and no word can properly describe the empty feel you’re left with while listening to this album.
Transit of Venus does have something to offer. “Saint Christopher” is the undeniable shining star of the album. The bass line is charming and the band breaks out of their comfort zone and finally throws a good punch. “August Spring” feels far less prolonged than other songs and a bit more balanced. Being the fifth track and thus in the middle of the album, it does wonders to refresh the listener. Immediately after, Black Forest Fire pulls another of their strongest songs, “Majestic.” Not only is it more active than the majority of the album, but it’s distinct.
Transit of Venus is incredibly difficult to describe, because while it does it best to remain loyal to the dream-pop genre and live up to expectation, it just constantly falls short. Song after song leaves you with feelings of Deja Vu and it’s truly tiring. Against everything said, Transit of Venus, is indeed enjoyable for it’s duration, but not much longer. If but one message is to be taken from all of this, it is as such: Black Forest Fire’s first album, Transit of Venus, sells the band to a certain niche. If you have a particular love for musical texture, or long, repetitious melodies, this is your album. If you are looking for something more dynamic, anything with a bit more energy to it, or with any added level of complexity, you may want to consider passing up on this one.
MP3: Black Forest Fire “Saint Christopher”