To start off I'm gonna quote myself from a review I wrote on Weird Missoula a while ago: "Ancient Forest reminds me of the Tolkien-obsessed eco-folk of Tyrannosaurus Rex...leisurely singing songs in [a] near-vulnerable voice, tunes deconstructed to their constituent parts, referencing trees, referencing Tolkien, and warped along some magic line unknowable to the uninitiated." That was in reference to the very first iteration of Ancient Forest I heard, one in which Kalen Walther was the primary, and for the most part, lone member. This full band version he's been touting lately though, man, OK: much of those above observations are still kinda true but I'm hearing more Syd Barrett-y affectations; it's a better presentation to all this soft-psychedelia. I feel like I wanna reference the band Gandalf right now and hey, that's right back at that Tolkien nonsense. Apt, I guess.
Ancient Forest's recent lineups have been a relative who's-who of Missoula's small but fertile little weirdo scene: members of J. Sherri and Mordecai (both Total Fest alumni) have sometimes joined Kalen at recent shows. Every time I've seen 'em it's been hella magical and for something like this to be native to our neck of the woods means we're really pretty lucky. These guys are the tops and yeah, they're playing Total Fest XIV.