Forever In Promise: Into The Storm

Impressive is the first word that came to mind as the debut EP from US metalcore band Forever In Promise infiltrates the ear. There has been a formidable collection of debuts in the genre and metal in general from new young and excellent bands so far this year to which the trio and their Into The Storm EP can be firmly added. Made up of five powerful slabs of metal the EP is a remarkable blend of vibrant and inventive sounds with direct and thunderous intensity. It is not the most brutal release you will come across but it is easily one of the most pleasing.

    Forever In Promise is a trio coming from Texas and New York who came together in 2011. Consisting of vocalists Jordan Cordova and Matt Barlett who provide the clean and growls respectively and multi- instrumentalist Zach Norman who provides guitars, bass, drums & synth, the band has produced a release that as well as ticking all the boxes for the genre brings its own diverse and imaginative extras. The result is an EP that pulls one eagerly in for a very fulfilling experience and a compulsive towering ride. The post production on Into The Storm was handled by John Naclerio from Nada Recording Studio (Senses Fail, My Chemical Romance, The Ataris, Brand New) earlier this year and there is no doubt there is an understanding between him and the band that has added something extra to the songs they recorded. There is a clarity and depth that allows each component to breathe and flourish even when the intensity thickens.

The release opens with the brief piano led instrumental Drifting. The track brings an atmospheric calm and ambient elegance to envelope the ear before the following explosive tracks led by Communications Are Down take hold. With a flavour of As I Lay Dying the track roughs up the ear with probing riffs and barracking rhythms whilst the coarse growls of Barlett are as uncompromising as the sounds. Once the clean vocals of Cordova join the forage within the senses the song takes on another dimension, his tones the perfect mediator between senses and the blistered intrusive sounds. The rhythms offer a djent inspired attack whilst bass and guitars plunder the ear with an aggressive but distinct design. The song also has the added delight of vocalist Evelynn from polish post hardcore band Nurth bringing further variation to the vocals.

The title track and the remaining songs The Deepest Part Is You and Message From Home all offer equal quality sounds and imagination. The first of the three with a more defined electronic flow behind the tumultuous sounds lights up the ear with a surety and craft to keep things persistently engaging and unpredictable. The combination of clean and caustic vocals is impressive, with the band finding the perfect blend between them. The Deepest Part Is You reminds a little of I Am Abomination, the melodic craft of the track veining the slightly oppressive intensity in a song that is thoroughly compulsive and further proof that  Norman is a skilled musician with an apparent flare on all instruments he brings to the project. The track demands like all the other songs full attention but needs not resort to battering the listener to do it. It may attack with a deliberate strength and feistiness but the influences from other genres and the vibrant nature of the sound sets the release and band apart from similar flavoured bands.

Closing on the brief and again atmospheric Message From Home which with the opener brings a book end like completion to the EP, Into The Storm is an excellent release and the cause of great anticipation and belief of even greater things ahead from Forever In Promise cons. The EP is available as a free download from the official band website @ http://www.foreverinpromise.com/ so there really is no reason not to discover the fresh breath in metalcore that is Forever in Promise.

RingMaster 03/04/2012

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I Am Abomination – Passion Of The Heist

From the band name to the extreme creativity on their new digital EP Passion Of The Heist, Michigan progressive post hardcore band I Am Abomination surprise and impress. If unaware of the band the name gives expectation of a death metal band or a sonically challenging sound. Well the duo certainly produce the aggression and power to rival most but align it with some of the most enterprising melodies and artistry heard this year so far.

The debut album To Our Forefathers on Good Fight Music gained great critical acclaim and returning via the same label on July 19th with Passion Of The Heist, one can only see that enthusiasm for their music enhanced and increased. The EP from vocalist Phil Druyor and guitarist Nick Sampson is described by them as a concept album which is easy to see but as well as the obvious sci-fi theme it also carries an inner personal struggle interpretation too. The lyrics for the EP were written by Brandon Good and wonderfully composed they are, words that when the band posted the lyrics to a couple of songs created great debate and opinion on the theme and religious thoughts of the band itself. They are lyrics that can be interpreted in different ways by individuals although as mentioned it has the obvious theme to it too.

The release was produced, written, engineered, mixed and mastered by guitarist Nick Sampson at his New Boston studio and there is no other word to use for it except inspired. There are virtually no flaws and those one can bring up are just related to personal tastes like the fade out of the wonderful track ‘Transformation’. Fade outs always gives the impression the band did not know how to end the track to some but to others it is not an issue at all. The track itself is excellent and soulful and as throughout the EP Druyor’s voice is a joy as he soars with the notes and words.  

Opening track ‘Vivification’, a very cinematic like intro sets the theme as alien sounds and tension ripples out of the speakers making the context obvious though it could be the soundtrack to the worst barbers shop in existence too. ‘Abduction’ takes over and instantly shows the band have not only kept the high level from their debut but taken many steps further. Sampson’s music and play is exemplary and matched and complimented completely by Druyor. The riffs, stabbing guitar attacks, and stunning solos are exceedingly pleasurable and with the added electronic sounds there is a fully rounded and unique feel.

The first track released by I Am Abomination as a taster to the album was ‘Examination’ and to mass acclaim from critics and fans alike. It is no surprise as the track is the best on Passion Of The Heist, the throbbing bass, driving riffs and beautiful melodies gel perfectly, and the brass like inserts are delightful. The track is big, a song that consumes with a wave of satisfaction and will be the favourite of most amongst an EP of tremendous ideas and realisation.

The band has a guest vocalist on ‘Ascension’ in the form of Attack Attack’s frontman Caleb Shomo. The contrast between the two men works perfectly, Shomo’s harsher voice against the smooth flow of Druyor a great fit and actually brings up the other small point that maybe the EP could have used some more moments of growls and grunts to break up the slight Fall Out Boy vocal feel elsewhere. Again it is just a personal taste thing as the truth is every song is that good that any change would not truly enhance a song.

The closing track ‘Invasion’ is the perfect end, not only as a wonderful track but it kind of sums up why the EP is so good; inspired ideas, musical skill, engulfing melodies and the total passion. I Am Abomination in Passion Of The Heist EP just might have your release of the year. http://www.facebook.com/iamabominationmusic

http://www.goodfightmusic.com

Pete RingMaster 12/07/2011

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