Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Forged In Black - Fear Reflecting Fear (2016)

Attempting to follow in the footsteps of influences like Judas Priest, Helloween, Memory Garden, Grand Magus and more, these UK heavy/thrash and progressive (definitely progressive) metallers have offered up four songs and a little over twenty minutes of new material within them. These guys used to play in a band called Merciless Fail, but decided to kick things up a notch with their new moniker and a much heavier band to boot. That being said, we actually get a lot of little prog-jam sessions and even some Maidenisms that I certainly won't turn away. There's definitely a doom feeling to the music here, reminding me a lot of Candlemass with opener “1000 Wings” and the title cut, which almost sounds like it was ripped right from a Candlemass record. Only difference is that we have a little more attention to detail in the form of the prog, which not only gives these tunes more melody, but also allows them to escape into unforeseen and rather brilliant realms. “Renegades Of Last Rites” explores more thrash, while closer “Shadows Still Remain” adds a bit more progressive influence into what brings back the doom feel of the first two cuts. For some odd reason there's an obnoxious harsh vocal roar utilized on the record that just doesn't fit in with the rest of the material and rubs me the wrong way every time it is used. Though I haven't heard the band's earlier debut, I certainly can't find any other problems with this disc other than the aforementioned and would heavily recommend it to fans of the bands I mentioned above, as well as the doom influences like Candlemass (which I'm kind of surprised wasn't mentioned on the band's press leaflet) and numerous others in that vein. It's good stuff regardless, and I wouldn't pass it up. I'm quite impressed otherwise.

(4 Tracks, 21:00)


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