Label: Solid State Records
Reviewer: Brody B
- The Great Divide
- State of Gold
- Bitter Years
- Paper World
- The Wager
- Harbor Lights
Several months ago when Solid State Records hinted at a new signing, followers of the label went into a frenzy guessing which of their favorite indie acts had snagged a position on the behemoth metal label. Forevermore, the young metalcore group hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana came out on top with a new deal inked and a promising future ahead of them.
Telos is the third full length recorded by Forevermore, and the first with Kramer Lowe of Onward to Olympas fame on the mic. Fans of OTO will be happy Lowe has not lost his touch, keeping his signature sound while not making Forevermore sound like the frontman’s previous band. While not breaking any new ground in the genre, Forevermore create a perfect blend of progressive metal that is equal parts technical and easy to listen to.
“Forcefed” kicks the album off after a short fade in with guitarists Jered Storm and Alex Smith leading the way with expertly tapped leads that soon turn into more hardcore influenced riffs that are sure to rattle some brains. Sammy Vaughn also makes his presence known as a formidable drummer in the metalcore realm. Vaughn absolutely owns the bridge section of the opener with impressive cymbal work while his occasional use off count breakdowns spice things up a bit.
“The Great Divide” is a force to be reckoned with with a smattering of groovy, bass heavy riffs. The occasional use of synths add a nice flavor since they are fairly low in the mix and are used more for an extra flair rather than a focal point. Kramer Lowe makes his presence fully known as he viciously howls, “This is the great divide, and I have created the fault line! ”. The gang chants during the bridge of the track just add the proverbial icing on the cake that is this great track.
“Transcendence” was a great choice for a single. The track shows a lot of diversity without coming off as forced or out of the ordinary. The song has the freedom to breathe and musically wander a bit with a semi-solo and intricate musicianship, while also keeping to a pretty straightforward verse-chorus formula.
About half way through the album “State of Gold”, my personal favorite track, batters the listener with aggressive riffs and leads that are constantly changing. Every time things begin to musically get stale, the group throws a curveball in the form of a new riff or drum beat. This technique not only keeps things fresh, but also showcases the talent this group has at their disposal.
“The Wager” plays around with a variety of interesting timings and riffs, adding a ton of progressive flavor to the mix. This is another track, much like “Transcendence” that felt like the band had a maturity much beyond their years where they were not afraid to experiment and simply let the track breathe. The final breakdown is also absolutely enormous with distorted chugs and metallic leads creating the soundscape behind Lowes furious howls of, “Everything around me breathes, except for me”.
One of the most engaging tracks on the album comes in the form of the closer, “Harbor Lights”. The clean vocals contrast very nicely with Lowes low register growls. The musicianship also ramps up for the closer, keeping things interesting, and even stopping for an instrumental break towards the end of the track. The track eventually wraps up with an epic climax of tremolo picking and Lowe proclaiming, “I want to be fire, so I can ignite the world!”.
Overall: Forevermore have crafted an enjoyable and incredibly solid debut record filled with tracks that show immense potential. I would love to see the young group continue to let their creativity grow and allow all of their songs the ability to breathe and genre mix. These guys are sure to make an imprint in the metal scene and leave many anxious to see what comes next.
RIYL: My Heart to Fear | Onward to Olympas | Prepared Like a Bride