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Forlorn Path - Man's Last Portrait

Forlorn Path
Man's Last Portrait
by Spyros Stasis at 20 May 2013, 2:18 PM

Hailing from New Jersey, FORLORN PATH, are releasing their debut album, “Man’s Last Portrait” after their two previous EPs, “Being Toward Death” and “Intifada”. The band exists in a space between the more melancholic side of doom metal (closer to the early KATATONIA albums), fuelled with a Black Metal background (which brings them a step closer to AGALLOCH but with more conventional use of instruments) and finally they tie all that together with their melodic Death Metal influences which make them a bit reminiscent to acts such as SWALLOW THE SUN, DAYLIGHT DIES, SATURNUS and other great melodic Doom / Death bands.

The intro of the album, “The Coming of Winter”, sets a melancholic mood to the listener, it makes the transition much smoother and the following song, “Empire of Decadence” acts as the rude awakening for the listener. Starting off with a typical Black Metal riff, and with James Applegate going berserk behind the drum kit, it keeps transforming throughout its almost eight minutes, from the eerie Black Metal hostility, to an incredible Doom Metal rhythmic part with great deep growls from Dave Imbriaco after which a clean part follows and finally an AGALLOCHian Folk / Black Metal melody jumps out to close the track perfectly, seriously the ending section is perfect.

The band pretty much keeps changing between these different states for the duration of this album, from the excellent aggressive black metal parts, quite obvious in parts like about a minute in the title track, “Man’s Last Portrait” and in all its glory on the short instrumental “A Moment of Silence”. Obviously of equal praise are the sorrowful melodies that guitarists Chernikov and Garnaev are able to call forth, some times with a MY DYING BRIDE, for instance about two minutes in the beautiful “Words Only Wind Can Speak”, with the clean parts giving a bit of variety to the album, for instance in “Masquerade”.

To be honest even that “Man’s Last Portrait” is a really good album, it probably is not something that we have not heard in the past, but still FORLORN PATH really have nailed the art of making songs full of emotion with a darker atmosphere (it is also aided by the use of keyboards). And in the end of the day when you are into melodic Doom / Death and you suddenly hear a song like “Ghosts” then you realize the full potential of FORLORN PATH. A really great first effort that hopefully will get them signed to a label.

3 Star Rating

1. The Coming of Winter
2. Empire of Decadence
3. Words Only Wind Can Speak
4. Masquerade
5. A Moment of Silence
6. As Hope Fades
7. Ghosts
8. Man’s Last Portrait
9. What Lies Beyond
10. Relics
Dave Imbriaco – Vocals, Bass
Ivan Chernikov – Guitars
Yuriy Garnaev – Guitars
James Applegate – Drums (session)
Record Label: Independent


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