Albums to watch


Forest Swords


Second album from Liverpool experimental electronic artist Matthew Barnes

ADM rating[?]


Ninja Tune
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    If it all sounds a bit bleak, it is—though as always, there’s beauty in the fog
    Read Review

  2. 9.0 |   Resident Advisor

    Poignant and ragged with suffering, but it doesn't dwell there. It is also bright, optimistic and euphoric
    Read Review

  3. 8.6 |   Gig Soup

    Matthew Barnes, the mind behind Forest Swords, blends the past and present perfectly, merging digital sounds with scratchy, vintage samples. His seamless production sometimes making it hard to distinguish between the two
    Read Review

  4. 8.5 |   The 405

    Fans of dark electronic music will crack a smile as Forest Swords has found the winning formula once again
    Read Review

  5. 8.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Compassion balances out its preoccupation with various political concerns with musical styles culled from various places
    Read Review

  6. 8.0 |   Q

    Immersive second from keen-eared electronic explorer. Print edition only

  7. 8.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    True to his aims, Barnes has created something that denies passivity. While it is unlikely to save the world, it might start a conversation, somewhere, between two people who would otherwise never have spoken
    Read Review

  8. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    While Barnes is definitely well-versed in musical melancholy, there's also a thoughtful, sensitive part to balance all this pathos
    Read Review

  9. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    Barnes has created an expressive atmospheric album that resonates with emotion both positive and negative
    Read Review

  10. 8.0 |   DIY

    At times heart-stopping, at others movingly barren, but always thoroughly arresting
    Read Review

  11. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    It captures the uncertainty and insecurity perfectly, manifesting itself as an incongruent collection of tracks that seep deep
    Read Review

  12. 8.0 |   Clash

    For every one building crescendo there are a dozen pull aways, moments where he elects to quash the noise and leave a single texture or melody to carry the song along on its own
    Read Review

  13. 7.8 |   Pitchfork

    Focuses more acutely on the music’s organic elements. It retains the uncanny qualities he’s known for, but with dashes of hope
    Read Review

  14. 7.0 |   Earbuddy

    Guides us through the darkness
    Read Review

  15. 7.0 |   Crack

    If you find murky solace in the subterranean melancholy of Barnes’ productions, then Compassion is a rewarding listen
    Read Review

  16. 7.0 |   The Music

    Still possesses the disorientating, otherworldly psychedelic patina that he coats his music in
    Read Review

  17. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    Key too is the stark chasm between two dominating sound palettes – full, rich, emotional orchestration stands off against sinewy programmed beats
    Read Review

  18. 6.0 |   State

    This is for sure Forest Swords’ most ambitious project, and a nice example of adding high-budget sheen working in favour of the artists’ themes
    Read Review

  19. 4.2 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    Vaguely interesting, but mostly begs the question: when will this be over?
    Read Review

blog comments powered by Disqus

Watch it

Roll over video for more options

Hear it

Preview & download it

Forest Swords: Compassion

  • Download full album for just £4.99
  • 1. War It £0.99
  • 2. The Highest Flood £0.99
  • 3. Panic £0.99
  • 4. Exalter £0.99
  • 5. Border Margin Barrier £0.99
  • 6. Arms Out £0.99
  • 7. Vandalism £0.99
  • 8. Sjurvival £0.99
  • 9. Raw Language £0.99
  • 10. Knife Edge £0.99
  • Service provided by 7Digital

Latest Reviews

More reviews