When I first discovered StS it was a bit of an epiphany for me. Their dramatic and harrowing melodic doom chilled me to the bone. I've found all their output to be of consistent quality - each album has deviated only slightly in direction from the last but usually offered enough variety to keep me locked in for the journey.
This album has returned to a doomier posture than the last effort 'New Moon', but also contains quite misanthropic moments of almost black metal, giving it a similar edge to their mini album 'Plague Of Butterflies'.
Personally, I'm not really in a place where I can connect with this music at the moment, certainly not in the same way as I once did and thus, I've not been too enthusiatic about 'Emerald Forest and the Blackbird'. In spite of this fact, I can hear it is one of their cleverest and darkest opuses to date. Compositionally there's no filler here; we're taken from serene nature inspired passages to places of torment and sorrow. I can't wait to have a day when I'm really in the mood for this so I can blast what I deem the highlight of this album "Hate Lead the Way".