Forefather - Steadfast review
|Release date:||February 2008|
02. Cween Of The Mark
03. Theodish Belief
04. Hallowed Halls
06. Three Great Ships
08. Fire From The Sky
09. Mellowing Of The Mains
10. Wolfhead's Tree
11. Miri It Is
English heathens Forefather are back with album number six and have never sounded better. Entitled "Steadfast", this is the band's highest achievement yet combining the spirit of the music they have always had with accessible songs and a whole heap of catchiness that has never been so present as it is here.
Forefather have finally released an album that is complete, compact and very solid. This is folk metal with an epic touch and with a step away from the slight black metal side, the grandeur is even more apparent. Consistency is a big key to "Steadfast" also, never before has Forefather been so engaging and thorough throughout an entire album, producing and delivering the goods with each track present. Individual tracks have their own stamp, their own tempo and feel to them. "Cween Of The Mark" and "Hallowed Halls" provide fantastic up-beat adventures whereas the title track "Steadfast" is more of a methodical, mid-tempo galloping affair which is just as enjoyable and also shows a more mature side to Forefather which has always been there, but never so articulated as well as this is pulled off here.
Before when listening to Forefather on previous albums, the main downside would most likely have been the fake-sounding drums which were programmed in through a computer of some sorts and plonked unimaginatively on top of the rest of the music. This problem has been eradicated for "Steadfast" as a real fleshy, squishy, breathing human was sat behind a real drum kit for this album, and this one change alone makes the world of difference for the overall sound and professional presentation of the two-man English duo. Production-wise the album sounds good, although there seems to be a distinct lack of bass which can make listening to the album on some devices quite impossible, but given you are not listening to the album on tiny mp3 player earphones there are no problems with the production.
Over the years Forefather have grown and evolved and this has never been so apparent as with "Steadfast". The whole album gleams with a metallic, folky shine. Not the happy-clappy, cheesy kind of folk either, this is a more of a serious affair that has been pulled off brilliantly not to sound over the top or too pretentious. The album boasts songs that will stick inside your head for a long time; "Fire From The Sky" is a good one at that, also the title track and others mentioned above.
This is a band at the peak of their evolution thus far, and with a solid and concise album has produced one of the folk metal highlights of the year. A real epic opus that keeps its head firmly attached at all times, and as long as you have your head firmly attached, an album that can be thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end many times. Well worth getting.
||Written on 29.08.2008 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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