ARTIST: Forfeit Thee Untrue
ALBUM NAME: ‘Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam’
RELEASE DATE: April 2016
COUNTRY: South Africa
GENRE: Christian Metal
Vox/Guitar – Gideon Karsten
Drums – Craig Palmer
Guitar – Mitch Pearson
Bass – Eckard van Tonder
Forfeit Thee Untrue’s ‘Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam’ ambiguously portrays a message of redemption from the darkness and evil of today’s world through faith. Regardless of the listeners’ affiliation to Christianity, this album is appealing in its storytelling ability. With the use of extended metaphors such as initiating the album with Genesis 1:1 in Let there be light, the beginning of the heaven and earth (and also the beginning of the album). I get the impression that the band are anti-religion and pro-individual spirituality, which maintains the common theme of individuality in metal music. Through this ‘Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam’ proves to appeal to more than just the Christian Metal fans.
Musically, the progression of metal styles and arrangement of instruments demonstrates the bands versatility. However, with the exception of one or two tracks, the album is predictable in its unpredictability. By that I mean, despite it utilising elements from a multitude of metal styles, the album as a whole tends towards a constant format. Punchy, powerful beginning, multiple tempo changes, slowed or deconstructed bridge back into chorus.
That being said, the phenomenal production quality accentuates the skilful execution of each song, with ten second screams (The Mirror That Hates and Seven part I), Traditional melodic guitar solos and complex rhythms being just a few among many in Forfeit Thee Untrue’s bag of tricks.
Interestingly, theatrical value is added through clever composition and arrangement in songs such as Lucifer’s Lullaby, which makes use of synths and dissonant tonality in a dubstep-ish percussive style in order to create an eerie, evil atmosphere. As well as The Dagger Held By Mary, which begins with operatic style female vocals and progresses into a powerful emotional, diverse, well-polished song.
In contrast to this, the easy-listening songs such as Sermon Of A Dying Atheist and Black and White (In A World Of Grey) demonstrate a very evident Demon Hunter and Skillet influence, through the use of acoustic guitar and more melodic vocal lines and could easily be heard on the radio.
It is wonderful in today’s cut-throat industry to see so many collaborations, and each of the three guest vocalists that feature on the album bring their own element of uniqueness.
Robyn Ferguson of the band Adorned In Ash adds a much more brutal feel to Fractured god with extreme core vocal range.
Local metal band-whore Brandon Pratt (currently in Red Helen) features in the slightly disjointed As The Wicked Wander. The vocal lines follow a call-and-response type format which complement each other well, but the song as a whole sounds like two songs mashed together. However, the chorus is one of the most memorable and catchy of the whole album.
Seven (part I) and (part II) featuring Ryan Kirby from American Christian metal band Fit For A King, takes the listener on a journey of its own. Listening to both parts of this song back to back is a lengthy fifteen minutes that recapitulates the themes of the album. Progressing from the catchy use of rhythms into diverse vocals and unique guitar progressions in part one, into what is probably the best song on the album in part two. Both the rhythm and melody lines show diversity through progression as opposed to a random combination of styles. Despite its length, the song does not become repetitive or monotonous but instead maintains the listener’s interest. Most definitely the best vocal collaboration on the album.
In its’ entirety ‘Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam’ offers an interesting take on a diverse range of metal styles while maintaining a new-wave metalcore (Killswitch era) feel throughout. It is too good not to listen to, however I do not think it will translate to the live circuit.
Favourite tracks: Seven (part II), The Dagger Held By Mary, The tasty bass fill leading into the guitar solo of The Mirror That Hates.
Reviewed by: Sammy SF (more from Sammy)
Date: 17 March 2016
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