This Norwegian duo (Bow & Arrow in English, just in case you were wondering) have been making a real mark in their native country, earning some high spots on the charts as well as loads of radio play. Their single “You Win Again” was also used in a cult film by the name of Dead Snow 2 (I haven't seen the first yet, but it's a Norwegian zombie-flick) so as you can see, they've really got something to offer. After having listened to this record, I'll have to agree. It was in my “Promise Pool” folder for a while before I was commissioned for it, so it's now been bumped up for a review now – and that's a good thing. Because now I remember just how great it is.
The press release says that these guys take from acts like Placebo, Deftones, current Anathema and The Mars Volta (even though I've always hated the vocalist from that act, I love the vocals here) and I can definitely tell. You also might be able to compare them slightly to acts like Tool/A Perfect Circle and Karnivool, as well as Chevelle in some instances. But what we're looking at is a mix of progressive and hard rock music, which has to be no doubt shortened for radio play, especially when the only song on the record that would fit the standard length of "3:30" is “Nevermind” coming in at a little over three minutes, even though you could probably squeeze the chorus heavy opener “No Is The Answer” or “Shakkakakka” down to fit the radio limit as well. These guys really want their songs to breathe, and they do – because you're utterly hit with mounds of atmosphere which in itself seems to contain just a little hint of post-metal. But there's no core, djent or anything really gimmicky to be found here. The record comes off as really memorable progressive hard rock. Now, I'm sure that a few people won't be able to stomach Petter Carlson's vocal approach as it's very glassy and fragile enough to shatter, but those same people probably couldn't get into Chino Moreno's clean tones in Deftones (no pun intended) for the same reason. It's actually a pretty short disc, all things considered – but it's the kind of disc where I think every song stands out in some way or another.
Forget The Past... can sometimes seem like a complete atmosphere, and it's essentially very chilly with slightly warm moments offered within the heat of the guitars. They believe in spontaneity, which I can kind of hear in this record, but there's also a definite choral formula to some of these tracks that make them complete earworms. I think “Afterlife” sees the duo at their most dynamic, as this artistic soundscape finally reaches it's denouement in the form of a post-rocker that really shows their power. They literally ended the disc with a track that doesn't just come right out and deliver the goods, you have to work for it a little bit and the end result is brilliant. If you're looking for an atmospheric hard rock act that you're going to remember a little bit more than some of the other stuff on the radio, then you can't go wrong here.
(6 Tracks, 30:00)