Foreshadow: The Stranger End Of Death

The Stranger End Of Death EP from Foreshadow is initially not a release that bowls you over though it more than satisfies the craving for good metal sounds but by the time one is enjoying its length a second and third time it has become an infectious little creature with hooks gripping deeply.  The EP does not leap through the ear with obvious hooks and easy delights but it is one that unerringly delivers the goods and leaves one thoroughly fulfilled each and every time it powers through the ear.

Foreshadow are a Florida band that has invigorated the metal scene of its home town Tampa and throughout the state beyond. Formed in 2008 the quartet of Daniel McConaghy (vocalist), Aaron Robinson (guitarist), Richard Hudson (drummer), and Perry Bassin (bassist), have shared stages with Dying Fetus and many more as well as beginning to emerge as regulars at festivals in the state. Their sound with its influences from the likes of Slayer, Metallica, Mudvayne, and Pantera is a strong and unpredictable mix which consistently on the evidence of their new EP, intrigues and keeps one enthralled. The band obviously does not bow down to convention and expectation musically and that can only be a powerful tool as they evolve and grow into their already impressive sound.

Recorded with Producer Tony Gamalo, The Stranger End Of Death the second EP from Foreshadow has a darker and more black/death metal based sound than the previously mentioned influences taken from their bio would suggest. Though elements of those bands are there especially Slayer there is a definite feel of bands like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, Lamb Of God and also classic heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath. It makes for songs that take the ear by force and with caustic intent but skilfully thrills them at the same time. The release does not break into new avenues or wide realms of originality it has to be said but instead brings music that leaves one captivated and songs that still rampage through the head long after they have left the building.

This is especially the case with the opener The Meaning Of Life. The song muscles in with rampant riffs and intimidating rhythms, the guitars offering abrasive grooves and melodies whilst the drums cage the senses within a flurry of strong and demanding rhythms. With a fine prowling bass from Bassin veining the track and the vocals of McConaghy dripping venom from his scorched bestial growls the whole combination is irresistible, a contagion that returns time and time again. The song midway through its oppressive blend of aggressive intensity and simplistic but openly catchy grooves steps to the side into a restrained progressive setting which with its emotive feel and strong guitar work elevates the song to another level in combination with the returned blackened insurgency.

The eight track release including three live cuts continues to menace and taunt the senses with tight vicious riffs and defences breaking energy, not that one ever truly wishes to resist the sounds that are turning feelings and emotions numb. The likes of the excellent War Without End, a merciless march through the body with ear piercing melodies and acidic creativity alongside the muscle-bound power, and the malicious black humoured and stunning The Stranger Within with its dehabilitating ravenous death crawl expose the listener to metal to high quality and deeply satisfying metal. The latter of the two is the best track on the release though the other mentioned tracks and the remaining unbridled threatening Art Of Hate and the morbid interpretation of Romeo and Juliet by the band in Death By Medicine hardly flounder in its wake.

As mentioned The Stranger End of Death does not instantly connect but it goes one better by infecting with a wicked and insatiable stealth which leads to a much more fulfilling reward. The EP is not without flaws though only of the minor and personal taste type like maybe a bit more variety from the still excellent vocals of McConaghy and the bass of Bassin being brought out more from behind the guitars and drums in the mix.  Overall though The EP is an excellent way to introduce you to the band but also a very fine addition to metal in general that leads to strong anticipation for more from Foreshadow.

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RingMaster 19/04/2012

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