REVIEW: The Foreshadowing – EP: Forsaken Songs

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Do you know that feeling when a band you really like has not been releasing anything for a while, and suddenly an EP pops out? Isn’t that one of the best feelings ever? Long story short: THE FORESHADOWING, Italian Gothic-doom metal band formed in 2005, are back after 7 years, with “Forsaken Songs,” a 6-track EP, out on May 26th, 2023, via Spanish label Ardua Music.

Their latest album “Seven Heads, Ten Horns” came out back in 2016, so no wonder long-time supporters and new fans were quite impatient for some new music to be released and, as a matter of fact, “Forsaken Songs” is somewhere in between old and new music, as two out of the six tracks have never been released before: track one “We the Others” works as some sort of a very promising anticipation of their next album, and track two, “Memento,” was originally planned for their third album, Second World,” but got re-recorded in 2022. As for the other tunes, except for TALK TALK cover “Such a Shame,” they have been previously released on YouTube or in digital format. There is also a new version of “The Forsaken Son,” whose original version is on “Second World.”

The EP is, as a whole, an interesting collection of songs one would not expect to see published all together, and it is a pleasure and a relief to see that THE FORESHADOWING have finally broken the silence. As I have already pointed out, one of the band’s main features is their frontman’s unique voiceprint, as deep and expressive as it can be. It works brilliantly with those melancholic yet soothing melodies that make every tune a little masterpiece on its own. I take full responsibility for this statement, as I firmly believe that their ability to build well-structured and compelling soundscapes has been impressive from day one, as all the band members, old and new, are likely to be considered spearheads in the local scene and beyond. On a side note: the role of bassist on this EP has been covered by various musicians, such as their two former bass players, Michele Attolino (track 1) and Francesco Giulianelli (tracks 4 and 6); Silvia Pistolesi on tracks 2 and 5; and the band’s keyboardist Francesco Sosto on track 3.

One feature that has been part of their sound for a long time is the tendency to effortlessly embed a pop attitude straight from the ‘80s in their songs, especially in the choruses: their love for that decade is not a secret, as also shown by the above-mentioned TALK TALK cover, and in the past they have recorded a cover version of “Russians” by STING, included in their second album, “Oionos.” Their catchy choruses, truth be told, are also infused with all of those typically doom metal features that we all are very familiar with, where gloom and sorrow dominate, in a unique blend of light, darkness, and epicness.

Guitarist Alessandro Pace and drummer Giuseppe Orlando do really know their stuff in that sense, as they give a crucial contribution to the overall sound by making it full and rich and original at the same time, despite playing a well-established subgenre where almost everything has been already said and done. Take for instance “Paranoid Boyd,” the fourth track on “Forsaken Songs,” released in digital format back in 2018: darkness is here depicted as a safe place, as stated in the chorus, where rhythm section, guitars, and keys do convey this weird sense of safety crooned by Marco, in his heartfelt and intense performance.

As for the re-arranged version of “The Forsaken Son,” it surprised me in the best way possible – given that I am very into the album it was taken from, I was afraid that this version would turn out to be not as good as the “original” one. I was wrong: they actually managed to give it a completely new life, while keeping part of its mood intact. It sounds stripped-down due to acoustic guitars and a trumpet, and you can clearly hear the singer take a breath between one verse and another, providing a deep, intimate vibe to the whole thing.

The cover of “Such a Shame” is a full-fledged love letter to the ‘80s, read through the band’s strong yet respectful trademark sound’s “lenses,” where one can also perceive the amount of fun they had while recording such a legendary generational anthem. Another unexpected cover has been chosen as a closer: “The Rains of Castamere (a Requiem for Wolves),” from the original soundtrack of Game of Thrones. I am not into that specific TV series, hence I do feel like I am missing something in terms of enjoying the tune to the fullest, but I can openly say that its crushing beauty speaks in a universal language.

In conclusion, I would add that EPs can be tricky and misleading at times, as they do not fulfil the need for a proper release by their very nature, but this is not the case, because “Forsaken Songs,” as non-homogeneous as it can look like at a first sight, does give a quite accurate idea of what the band is capable of nowadays. Nevertheless, I am quite impatient for a full-length to be published and I believe I am not the only one. Let’s hope we do not have to wait for a long time…

Written by Licia Mapelli

Tracklist

  1. We the Others
  2. Memento
  3. The Forsaken Son (Twilight Revival)
  4. Paranoid Boyd
  5. Such a Shame
  6. The Rains of Castamere (a Requiem for Wolves)

Lineup

Marco I. Benevento – Vocals
Alessandro Pace – Guitars
Francesco Sosto – Keyboards
Giuseppe Orlando – Drums

Label

Ardua Music

Links

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