[Review] Forfeit Thee Untrue – Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam
Two years after their debut ep Forfeit Thee Untrue brings their debut full length. This album brings the core back a bit and moves more toward melodic death/black metal. Don’t get me wrong there are still breakdowns as evidenced in the second track at the 3:30 or so mark. With that said I do like some deathcore etc but I love the fact that this album is really more metal than core.
Starting with a very melancholy intro which is basically the beginning of the Bible, they move on full speed ahead bringing a brutality that crushes everything on the EP with The Mirror That Hates. There are no holds barred on their up in your face truth of Christ, bringing many styles and forms along with tempo and key shifts and all in just one song. Seven is actually a re-recorded version of the song from their EP and honestly I don’t really like this version nearly as well. First the original was 7 minutes long and this version is a few seconds shorter. Second they change up the delivery of parts of the song and there are also some key changes and some of the notes are completely different all together particularly in the chorus. It is still a very good song but very much different. I will say that at the end the brutality was stepped up a bit. Some may like the changes and others might prefer the original. If you haven’t heard the original shame on you; you need to rush to iTunes right now and get the Blood Soaked Splinter EP or go get the cd from the band as it is very good.
The next song is one of three that features a guest vocalist from other bands. Fractured god features Robyn Ferguson of the award winning South African black metal band Adorned In Ash. Being a big fan of black metal, and a big fan of Adorned In Ash, I really love this song. Robyn really nails the vocals bringing shrieks, wails and utter brutal guttural deep bass like vocals and let me tell you she does it better than most guys too. Add in Gideon’s clean vocals and the absolutely haunting guitars and keys towards the end before bringing it all together at the same time and it just sent chills down my spine as well as across my arms. No I am not kidding; this is my favorite track from the album and it is worth buying for this song itself.
Sermon of a Dying Atheist brings in a new element to this band, violin. I love violin in metal and even though this song is really a ballad that starts off on an acoustic tone and has only clean vocals, (which if you have never heard Gideon do only clean vocals you are missing out) his voice fits in perfect here and it adds a nice interlude. For me a perfect metal album has a combination of heavy and interludes or ballads. Now I know that death netal and more extreme metal albums don’t really do this mix, not like the metal of the 80’s where pretty much every hair metal band had a power ballad that made every radio playlist in the world, but it really works on this album. The pounding double pedal drums also adds a nice caveat to the song as well giving it the perfect blend of ballad and heaviness that is needed to tie this song into the rest of the album.
Back to the heaviness with Burning of the Last Bible and it sounds very much to me like the clean vocals are handled by someone other than Gideon on this one. I can’t tell which one it is but it is nice to see other members lend their clean vocals from time to time as well. I could be wrong but the clean vocals just don’t sound like Gideon. This is a very good song but there are a few weak parts in the transition between some of the verses and Choruses. Most people won’t be able to even tell but they are there nonetheless. Lucifer’s Lullaby is more or less another melodic interlude. The keys and guitars once again give you haunting sounds that combined with some non-chromatic chords bring a gothic feeling especially when mixed with the techno electronic drums. This is a very dark song which like Seven comes to the truth from another view and side all together, which is refreshing. Not many present the truth of Christ from the perspective of evil yet it is a perspective that needs to be shown to better understand the real truth. While a good song it really doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the tracks. This song would be a better fit on a goth album or maybe even techno infused album. But while it does seem to be out of place stylistically it is nice to see a little something different. The one issue I have with this song is that the bass seems to be too distorted. I am not sure if it is the bass guitar, the electronic drums, a drum machine or what but there is a bit too much distortion in the bass line at times on this song but it is only a mild distraction and probably only to the OCD audiophile.
The next track As the Wicked Wander features Brandon Pratt of Red Heaven and this is one of the few songs that are almost purely Deathcore. Brandon handles the clean vocals here and complements the overall sound nicely. The Break down is pretty typical most of the way through before changing it up a bit. This is more of the type of song you would hear from For Today, or Fit For a King but this is a good song that adds the FTU flair to it. The featured single comes up next; Cradled in Black Arms is to this album what Seven was to the EP. This is not a purely brutal song as it bounces back and forth between brutal and melodic with the breakdowns not really being so much breakdowns as much as being time changes that serve to separate the two styles. The 2:40 mark brings the true FTU deathcore breakdown before going to a full on melodic metal assault.
I have always liked it when different genres mix Gregorian chant or that type of singing into the mix. Living Sacrifice is the only metal band that I know of that has done that with death metal and now FTU has done it with the song The Dagger Held By Mary. While it is just on the intro of the song it sets up a very sound song that brings a nice pure metal feel. The guitar solo is one worthy of bands like Def Leppard, Whitesnake or even Dio and some of the vocals even kinda give that Def Leppard feel to it. It is a very good song and one worth air play on radio stations worldwide. Black and White (In a World of Grey) again features violins and in its roots are metal/hard rock and if there were a song on this album that would be called a metal anthem this one would be it. The core is put completely behind and instead metal solos in multiple scales and a touch of Hard Rock take its place and this is one song style I would actually like to see these guys do more of. Here you hear hints of Skillet and Red mixed with a metal edge that almost make this sound like a different band. The Versatility is shown here letting everyone know this band can do it all.
Seven Part II. That’s right part two of the Seven saga and this one features none other than Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King and this one brings us to the roots of metalcore with one of the best vocalists in the genre. While many people for whatever reason don’t like core there are what those same people call “good” core songs and this is one of them. Ryan knocks it out of the park as he teams up with Gideon in battling brutal vocals. The Longest song on the album topping off at 8:11, I would really like to have seen this been the part two of the original Seven version as I think part II complements the original better than the new version.
The album closes out with two alternative versions of songs earlier in the album. As the Wicked Wander which does not have Brandon Pratt on it and the radio edit of Black and White (In A World Of Grey). The alternative version of As The Wicked Wander is pretty much the same as the original with the main difference being that Brandon is not on it while Black And White (In A World Of Grey) is 3:45 instead of 4:12. Like many mainstream bands it is shortened and designed specifically for airplay on the radio. It is still just as powerful and just as good as the original just a bit shorter.
While there are a couple of things that I don’t like about this album I can honestly say that this is a good album through and through. The negatives are either just my personal preference having heard the original Seven or small minor issues that most people may not even notice. And it is because of this that it will be one of the very few that get my highest rating. Forfeit Thee Untrue has gone from “Demon Hunter on speed” to a band that very much holds their own and they are just getting started. They will have themselves a good run and a good career as they continue to mature musically and form their own unique style. If you haven’t checked them out do so.
This album can be purchased at Rottweiler Records. I am sure that like their EP it will be up on iTunes as well as many other digital stores.
Rating: 5 of 5