The Forgotten Age - Enough Review
LEARN THE NAME.
When you think of the words "Wales" and "Metal Music" for most only one band springs mind. Bullet For My Valentine have been the top of that very specific tree for over a decade. However, there is a new band in town who could quite possibly be coming to knock them off of their perch.
The Forgotten Age are a Metal/Metal-core band who were formed in 2014 and hail from Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales. They consist of Mike Bassington (Vocals/Guitar), Joseph Young (Drums), Alex Wynne (Bass) and Ben Jones (Rhythm Guitar). The band were kind enough to send me a pre-release copy of their debut EP "Enough" to review so lets get into it...
Without coming on too strong, HOLY FUCK! This EP is something else. Imagine if Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold all came together, fucked and had a baby that wanted to blow your fucking metal mind. That, I feel, is the best way to describe The Forgotten Age. "Enough" is an insanely beautiful creature that constantly evolves and mutates the metal genre for the approximate 22 minutes of metal heaven that are spread across the four song track list. To say that "Enough" could be the most complete piece of metal musicianship i have heard this year would be no understatement. Which to a website dedicated to rock and metal music is no small feat.
Lets start with what can be a killer for a band's debut EP, production. The effect production has on the impact and success for a debut EP cannot be understated, and thankfully "Enough" has amazing production value. Each song is mixed masterfully and gives each instrument and vocalist room to breathe and show what they can do. Each track is dripping with production quality, you can really FEEL the pounding of the drums, the shredding on the guitars, the deep grumbling of the bass and the emotion in the vocals. Honestly the production here is better than some popular artists albums and allows the album to shine.
Now into the important part, the music. "Enough" is a stunning, aggressive, emotional, complex album which brings back all the emotionally charged memories of first listening to Bullet For My Valentines "The Poison". Not only are there similarities in the music its self the comparison also leads into the similar feeling on how this EP could evolve the genre and take it forwards as "The Poison" did over a decade ago. The EP is constantly exploring for a new direction to take the genre and challenge the listener. Whenever you think you have the song figured out, the drum beat changes and the song shifts into an entirely new monster.
The EP opens with "Break Me" an explosive, epic powerhouse of a song. The song starts with a clean, slow guitar riff that reminisces of Avenged Sevenfolds "This Means War" which leads into a powerful, intense riff and drum beat. The vocals in this track are IMMENSE both clean vocals and screams offer something different to the track. The screams bring a gritty, dark feel to the track, whereas the clean vocals shine light on the darkness and bring some breathing room to the track and give it a simply EPIC feel. Both vocals interchange regularly and work together beautifully. There is some serious vocal talent on show in this EP. The bass is ever evolving and changing the track and bringing the song into new directions. Then there is the guitar...seriously this FUCKING guitar. There is some serious shredding on display on "Enough" and "Break Me" offers a perfect glimpse into this. There are vibes of Kirk Hammett and Synyster Gates in the amount of shredding and outstanding guitar work that "Enough" includes and NEEDS to be heard.
Another stand out track from "Enough" is "Undone". The song offers a face melting riff which stirs memories of Avenged Sevenfolds "Unholy Confessions". The Vocal work is again amazing with both vocalists working in tandem and bringing a weight and emotion to the track that is rarely felt in the metal music mainstream that is churned out today. The Drums on this track show intelligence and don't fall into the metal pitfall of "Double bass pedal solves everything". The drums evolve and change with the track and really shine brightest here. You can watch the music video for "Undone" below to truly appreciate what I mean.
Lyrically, the EP holds its own weight too. Each track offers different views into love loss and anger. However, they are far from cliche. Each track is varied and shows how these already explored areas can still be as interesting and emotionally charged as ever, whilst also bringing that special something that sets them apart from the regular metal crowd.
To bring this review to an end, this is an EP that should be heard by any metal music fans. Its energetic, impactful, powerful and sticks with the listener long after "Enough" has finished blaring through the speakers. It may be a little too soon to say that Metal has a new hero, but if The Forgotten Age carry on like this Wales could have a new torchbearer in the metal genre. As a debut EP this is truly impressive and I eagerly await to see where this takes The Forgotten Age in the future.