Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Foreshadowing - Seven Heads, Ten Horns (2016)

This is a band that I have totally missed out on, and if the new record "Seven Heads, Ten Horns" would have had such high praise from other people, I probably would have missed this one completely. Gothic metal in general is one of my blinder spots among the metal sub-genres, but I have discovered several bands in this genre lately, like Moonspell, Tiamat, Sirenia, and Paradise Lost. All of them has showed me that this genre is more than black emo darkness, that there can also be sort of a tragic beauty to this music, which is really fascinating.

The Foreshadowing originates from Italy and was formed in 1999 by guitarists Andrea Chiodetti and Alessandro Pace, and  keyboardist Francesco Sosto, but it was not until 2006 the band became complete, with the addition of the vocalist Marco Benevento, bassist Davide Pesola, and drummer Jonah Padella. Italy has its fair share of great metal bands, like Lacuna Coil, (Luca Turilli's) Rhapsody (of Fire), and Fleshgod Apocalypse, so of course, I hoped that The Foreshadowing would be able to hold the same standard.

"Seven Heads, Ten Horns" is the band's 4th full length album, and the initial expression I get from it is that it is massive, not that it is long or anything like that, but it is the grand sound that makes this album almost larger than life, and maybe even larger than death. The band does a great job in mixing the light and the dark in their music, a yin and yang formation that creates a harmony like no other. Comparing to other bands out there, I would say that Katatonia and Paradise Lost (without the harsh vocals) are the best description of the sound of this album.

What impress me the most with the band's execution is Marco and his vocals. Italy has a bad reputation of pronunciation problems and lack luster singers, but Marco nails everything that is thrown at him. His emotions are truly showing through, giving that extra edge that this album crave for. I would also like to compliment the band's newest acquisition, the drummer Giuseppe Orlando. His drum work is excellent, very progressive and exciting, and even if it does not take the center stage, my ears constantly soar away to those beats and rolls. A+ to whoever recruited him.

The song quality is high and even too, but it works as an disadvantage to the band, making it hard to separate the songs from each other. The only song that truly stands out is the final song "Nimrod", and it only stands out because it is a lot longer than the other songs (14 minutes, over 7 minutes longer than the second longest song). This is of course not a problem when you listen to the album in its entirety, but I am a guy who likes individual quality as well, so I would have loved to see one or two songs to really stand out and deliver. Still, this is only a matter of personal taste, so if you are more of the full album listener, congratulations.

There is no doubt that this album deserves all the praise that it has gotten, it is a dark, but beautiful album that has a lot of cool elements to it. The Foreshadowing really knows how to set the mood and create an experience that is truly magical. This is a well thought out album that captures its listener into a trance that is hard to break away from. A spectacular release that should not be missed.

Songs worthy of recognition: Lost Soldiers, Two Horizons, Martyrdom, Nimrod

Rating: 8/10 Ishtars

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