After a three year hiatus and the death knell of dubstep ringing from every bass music belfry, Mike Barners re-enters the void. Under the cloak of Forest Swords, his 2010 opus Dagger Swords blended cinematic psych rock with bass music and dub. It wasn’t quite dubstep, but it was in touch with the roots. There were few proper nodes of comparison to contextualize what Son Raw called “a guitar twang that manages to convey the same sense of vastness and loneliness as Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack, the kind of isolation one might find in the middle of a vast prairie field with no sign of human life for days.”

“Thor’s Stone” is pure mood music (no t-shirt or Buddens). The guitars scrape and the keyboards have a slow-swirling ominousness. The note Barnes dropped with the track was: Life moves and shifts but tjruth [sic] is the witness. Love always. THOR’S STONE>>>.” The song itself creaks and moans like a house under attack from poltergeists. But it refuses to go into the spooky or eerie cliche. The foundation hasn’t settled and probably never will. This is what makes it sound interesting. If someone is smart, they will snare him to soundtrack their psychological thriller starring Madeleine Stowe.

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