Every time I get asked which Italian metal bands I would suggest, THE FORESHADOWING is always my top choice. My home country is not a metal country at all, at least the amount of well-known bands is not comparable to what we could find in Finland, for instance, but this does not mean that there are no good bands, in addition to bigger and more famous names such as RHAPSODY OF FIRE or LACUNA COIL. THE FORESHADOWING is a 6-piece Gothic doom metal band founded in Rome in 2005, and “Second World” is their third full length. Released on April 20th, 2012, via Cyclone Empire, the album consists of ten tracks, whose main theme is the apocalypse, from a “Man vs. Nature” perspective.
The album is nothing new under the sun, I could say, especially if we take the doom metal popular topics and aesthetic into consideration, but what makes this album so unique is its undisputed elegance, paired with excellent instrumentation and songwriting, which had been openly praised by Dan Swanö, whose name does surely ring a bell, being that his activities as a music producer and musician are quite well-known in the scene. He took care of mixing and mastering the album, and he put his personal touch in it while enhancing the band’s vision at the same time.
As mentioned, the main topic the album deals with is the apocalypse, seen this time as an unavoidable consequence of humans’ behavior and actions: the earth seeks some sort of a revenge and tries to get rid of mankind through earthquakes and other disasters, in order to lead to a new world, the “second world” the title refers to.
A crucial element of the band’s personality, which became even more important on this album, is the frontman’s vocal timbre: Marco Benevento works as a voice actor, therefore the awareness on how a story should be told or sung is absolutely his field of expertise. It does make a difference in terms of intensity, emotional engagement, and expressive efficiency of every word, which blend perfectly in an obscure yet solemn soundscape; the vocals on “Second World” sound really spontaneous and tell something about the concept on a deeper level. On a side note, Marco’s voiceprint should be somewhat familiar to the Finnish audience also due to his feature on SWALLOW THE SUN’s single, “Lumina Aurea”; the utterly sad and bleak spoken parts in Latin were, in fact, performed by him and the rest of the band took part in the choir. A significant role, if we take the cathartic function of the song into consideration as well.
Darkness and melancholy are still the main ingredients in the band’s overall sound, but compared to their previous two albums, it seems that “Second World” moves one or more steps forward when it comes to combining catchiness and grandeur, in a perfect and classy balance. The guitar work provided by Alessandro Pace and Andrea Chiodetti, gloomy as it can be, does really express the post-apocalyptic vibe to the max, as much as the extremely sophisticated drumming provided by Jonah Padella, who proved to be one of the most skilled drummers in the genre, able to blend technical skills and creativity. Shortly after the release of “Second World,” he was replaced by Giuseppe Orlando, who had been taking care of recording and mixing the band’s works since the very beginning. The role of keyboards in the album is essential, as it makes the atmosphere majestic, while groovy bass lines add some depth to the sound.
“Second World” is a landmark in the band’s career, as it represents the achievement of that moment when the act does have its own personal style and a recognizable trademark sound. Their ability to avoid any rhetorical device that could sound like a cliché in the genre is impressive, as much as their talent in building engaging melodies that pair perfectly with the heaviness of the topics the lyrics tell about.
Written by Licia Mapelli
- The Forsaken Son
- Second World
- Ground Zero
- Reverie is a Tyrant
- Noli Timere
- Friends of Pain
Marco Benevento – vocals
Francesco Sosto – keyboards, vocals
Alessandro Pace – guitars
Andrea Chiodetti – guitars
Francesco Giulianelli – bass
Jonah Padella – drums