Band: The Forerunner
Release Date: February 4th 2011
Reviewer: Joshua Clark
- By His Blood
- A New Day Awaits
- Blood On Our Hands
- Empires Will Fall
- Cast The First Stone
- Our God Is An Awesome God
- Take This Life
The Forerunner is a five-piece metalcore/hardcore band out of Las Vegas. They are a relatively new band that released their album Victory in early February.
Musically, The Forerunner specializes in metalcore fused with some hardcore elements. The guitarists offer a number of pleasant riffs and engaging solos. The drummer delivers a variety of beats and is constantly changing things up. To be expected there are breakdowns scattered through the album. But what is nice about this album is the breakdowns are not the only thing that makes up the band’s sound. They instead just add one here and there, which makes a nice addition. The Forerunner has things covered well in the musical department and offers a very engaging hard-hitting sound, along with that fast-paced hardcore sound. The album is pretty heavy all the way throughout but the clean vocals help add a little melody to it so you’re not being beat into submission the whole time. The production is great and was very solid for an unsigned band. So because of that each instrument gets equal attention as well as the vocals blending in seamlessly.
Vocally, I was impressed with what the band offered. The main vocals are strong and powerful, that also provide a nice range. Additional vocals from the two guitarists add in some more variety and flow nicely. There is also a fair amount of gang-vocals spread throughout the album that The Forerunner puts to great use. The band puts great use to the different vocals; there is a range of rough growls, high-pitched screams, and then smooth clean vocals. This really gives you a whole range throughout the entire album and the band covered their bases well by keeping things interesting with a variety of vocals.
Lyrically, these guys are focused on one thing, and that is Christ. Lyrical themes focus on overcoming all odds through Christ, leaning on Him for strength, us being made pure through Jesus, His ultimate return with all opposition failing against Him, and Christ reigning for eternity with His name being praised forever. The lyrics focus heavily on end times and the preparation for Jesus’s return to earth, and victory being reached through Him. These lyrics really show the guys passion for God by not holding back on anything, but being very honest about what they believe. You can clearly tell where The Forerunner’s hearts lie and who this album is all about.
I found it neat that the guys put in some worship tracks here and instead of doing a typical cover of them; they took the tracks and added their own sound to them, along with adding them in with their own lyrics. The Forerunner gave new life to these great worship tracks and made them their own. This is shown with a short segment of the chorus from “All Who Are Thirsty” in the track “Cast The First Stone.” “Our God Is An Awesome God” which is featured here is the best version I have ever heard of that song. It is awesome to hear screams and a heavy music backdrop added to these tracks, it makes them something totally new. Other stand out tracks on the album were “Victory” and “By His Blood.” But by each song offering something different, the guys offer up a well rounded album that you can enjoy start to finish.
Overall: Metal fans of any sort really should consider checking this album out. I honestly thought this was as good as a lot of other “core” bands out there. The Forerunner does this style very well and they display a serious amount of talent with this release. There isn’t really much to complain about here. Sure it’s not reinventing the wheel, but they do the metalcore/hardcore mix really well and they have made something that is a treat to sit down and listen to. I didn’t know what to expect when I first went into this, but I can honestly say I was pleased with what I heard from this unsigned band. There is loads of potential coming out of these guys and I look forward to seeing what they bring to the table later down the road.