ARTIST: Only Forever
ALBUM NAME: Death of a Cynic
RELEASE DATE: November 2015
COUNTRY: South Africa
GENRE – Alternative Rock
Vocals – Fernando Policarpo
Bass – Nick Gibbs
Drums – Jay Pienaar
Guitar – Sean Stephen
Guitar – Nicholas de Villiers
I write this this weary and travel-worn. I’ve watched a city burn to the ground, danced in hell with some shady characters, had shameful encounters… in the space of an all-consuming 43 minutes. I’ve experienced the extremes of intoxicating bliss, longing and distress in only a short space of time.
Only Forever has accomplished what many have not: an album where each song achieves its own unique diversity that takes you to an emotional place of its own. However, this is problematic in the smallest of ways; it impacts ever-so-slightly on the overall cohesion of the album as a whole, leaving one with the feeling that it is a tiny bit unresolved. This is not necessarily a bad thing and certainly comes with the territory of a band expanding and developing their sound. It is evident that the album has been a two year journey and each song reflects its own personal tale.
I particularly enjoyed the variation of styles on this album. It deviates from the energetic, driven sound that was consistent throughout “Horizon Sets Fire”, 2012. In “Death of a Cynic”, we are pleasantly rag-dolled between the lonely, distant calls of a mournful guitar to the intense, rhythm-powered sexy groove that makes you want to dry hump every note. We revel in the mud and make some bad decisions while Only Forever grind out dirty guitar riffs and gritty vocals. The use of vocal effects is used tastefully throughout the album, giving a dreamy quality reminiscent of faraway places. Just when you think you’re somewhere far off on a boat sipping craft beer, the angst draws you sharply back to the reality of a harsh world at the vocalist’s will. The diversity in Policarpo’s vocal range holds the power to make you love and hate, all in the same sentence.
A song that highlights the use of variation and comes highly recommended is, ‘Fail to Claim’. This song immediately transports one to a humid night out in the desert. The use of Arabic-sounding notes along with the use of percussive elements is a different take on their sound but definitely works in their favour.
They always put on a killer live show and this has generated a lot of excitement around this album. ‘Rule of 9’ (my personal favourite) appeared on the SA Metal Awards compilation in 2014 and this told us great things were to come. The album has enjoyed success and made it to number 17 on the Hit List, in November 2015 by Alex Marx. However, and this is a minor criticism, I feel that in places the album does not capture the power and intensity of their live show which fills the room and commands the attention of every person. It is a pity that the album does not fully incorporate their sheer energy into the digital sphere. Ok nay-sayer…get back in your box.
Despite this opinion that has been thrusted upon thee, I definitely recommend giving this album a listen. Between the heart-rending guitar-riffs, punchy basslines and emotionally-charged vocals there is definitely an element that fans of many different sub genres can relate to. Go check it out on Bandcamp at http://onlyforever.bandcamp.com and get yourself to a live show to enjoy this band to their full.
Reviewed by: Kanga-Roo
Shots fired by: Sammy SF (more from Sammy)
Date: August 2015
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