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Foretoken - Ruin Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 September 2020, 10:33 AM

FORETOKEN is a Symphonic, Melodic Death Metal band based out of Virginia, USA. The duo has prepared their debut album here, titled “Ruin,” which contains six tracks. Formed in 2018, they tackle subjects like mythology, legends, and folklore. “Bewildering Duress” leads off the album. It opens with eerie tones and then comes the heavy, layered guitar riff, complete with symphonic elements and harsh vocals. The sound changes several times throughout, but those harsh vocals remain omnipresent. The guitar solo is fantastic…a flurry of notes running on the melody like perfectly.

“The Retribution” opens with full instrumentation and showing some skills in the guitars particularly. The harsh vocals remain rageful. The symphonic elements give it a bit of a Power Metal groove and are played in support of the main sound but do not take it over. “A Deathless Prison” opens with clean, doleful guitars and light symphonic elements. Soon, they pick up in speed, and then the distorted riff and harsh vocals come in strong. Hannes is a beast on the drum kit, and the demands the music places on him are hard, but he comes though unscathed. It pauses for just a second after the half-way mark, for some deeper contemplation. The background is constantly building with dexterous compositions.

“Hamarita” is an eleven-minute beast. The opening guitar solo is impressive as is the constant meter shifting. These guys might be a new band, but oh man are they excellent musicians. The song uses more elements and meter shifts than I thought was possible, yet it remains familiar to the central sound. “His Rage Manifest” is a short, three-and-a-half-minute song that opens with piano, then comes straight for your throat with thunderous drumming and super-fast picked riffs. The intensity here is absolutely relentless. They cram more notes into this short piece than you can imagine.

“Indelibility of Iniquity” is an eleven-minute closing song. Opening with acoustical guitars and some symphonic elements, it quickly transitions to an impressive range of various sounds, with a Classical music twist. Some fat French horn notes pepper the landscape. It breaks a bit around the half-way mark, with a sweet guitar solo. From there, it builds with a deep intensity that you could not break with Thor’s coveted hammer. Just before it closes, it settles into a light, pensive passage with ominous tones, announcing the end.

Overall, this was a fantastic find for a new band with just over 1000 Facebook likes. Having Hannes Grossman fill in on the drums probably did not hurt a bit, but make no mistake, this duo are fantastic musicians and the songwriting here is tight and impeccable. Redmond’s compositions come from a place of experience, and supreme confidence. How he worked everything in together is a feat of amazement the likes of which I have not heard in some time. I can see why the band was just signed to Prosthetic Records. Here is a label that takes the best of them, and this album is surely among that statement.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Bewildering Duress
2. The Retribution
3. A Deathless Prison
4. Hamarita
5. His Rage Manifest
6. Indelibility of Iniquity
Dan Cooley - Lyrics and Vocals
Steve Redmond - Music Compositions and Performances
Hannes Grossman - Drums (studio)
Record Label: Prosthetic Records


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