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The Foreshadowing : Second World

The Foreshadowing seem to have received much attention by the press recently. As far as doom-metal.com is concerned, their new album does not justify this.

The Italian band The Foreshadowing seems to have come a long way with only three albums: They played gigs with big acts like Lacuna Coil and even supported Katatonia and October Tide, influential and respected acts in the Doom Metal scene, on last year’s Wave Gotik Treffen. According to the promo sheet, their second album Oionos (2010) received a lot of praise from the press. In April 2012, their new album Second World is to be released; it was mixed and mastered at the renowned Unisound Studios by Dan Swanö who has been a central figure in the Metal scene for many years. It also features artwork by Travis Smith, another name which should be familiar to most readers. All in all, it seems as though they were the next big thing for the darker realms of Metal. So are they?

Well, they may be for Zillo or Metal Storm, but certainly not for doom-metal.com. This is not only due to the fact that their music merely borders Gothic Doom, but also – and primarily – due to their lack of convincing ideas. But let us first examine the style they are playing. Try to think of a slower, bleaker and less catchy version of bands such as Type O Negative or Autumn Clan with their characteristic mixture of Gothic Rock influences and heavy guitars. Apart from a few moderate doublebass parts, the songs are midtempo-based with simple, doomy riffs and plodding drums. Atmospheric keyboards are in the background all the time. The clean male vocals are dark and monotonous without any outbursts of emotion or expressiveness. They seem to merge in with the music as just another atmospheric element without standing out, which – unfortunately – leaves a lot of potential for intensity unexploited.

Even though I cannot think of a band which actually plays a directly comparable mixture, I still do not detect anything original about what I am hearing, in fact it feels like I have rarely come across anything less inspired than this in terms of style. As harsh as this may sound, it is not the primary reason why this album ultimately fails to impress, for there are many bands out there that play fairly generic and yet captivating music. I have been present at the band’s WGT gig last year and found that they are capable of creating a nice melancholic atmosphere, but as pointed out before, they lack one crucial thing: Ideas. There are no surprises at all in the course of this album, on the contrary, it even gets difficult to tell the tracks apart because there are hardly any particularly intense or interesting moments within single songs, either. Even the two calmer tracks blend in with the same mood, the same uninspired melodies and nondescript vocals. As a consequence, Second World becomes really dragging after a while since it keeps floating along without getting any immediate emotions across. There is one good thing about this, though: When listening to the album in the background, its monotony actually creates a fairly bleak atmosphere which envelops the listeners to drain them of all hope. In this sense, The Foreshadowing have created something fairly uncompromising here, and to other magazines and webzines who are not too familiar with the depths of the Doom scene, the result may seem very depressing and therefore a masterful example of gloomy Metal. But I am afraid that this will not be enough for lovers of intense Doom.

Notwithstanding all that has been said, The Foreshadowing are still a band worth looking into for fans of lighter Gothic Doom and Gothic Metal. There is certainly a lot of material out there which is less convincing in terms of atmosphere, songwriting and production. But I would strongly recommend going for the first two albums – judging from the few tracks I am familiar with, they seem to feature far more catchy and captivating moments than this new output. My recommendations are “Outsiders” and “Fallen Reign”, both from Oionos. Since I was expecting an album in the vein of these tracks, Second World was quite a let-down for me personally, and I cannot imagine that it could add anything essential to anyone’s collection.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Havoc
2. Outcast
3. The Forsaken Son
4. Second World
5. Aftermaths
6. Ground Zero
7. Reverie is a Tyrant
8. Colonies
9. Noli Timere
10. Friends of Pain

Duration : Approx. 55 minutes

Visit the The Foreshadowing bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-04-02 by Domink Sonders
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