Forefather
Steadfast


4.5
superb

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
July 13th, 2009 | 30 replies | 11,104 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


Everyone who knows anything about Scandinavian metal knows how badass Vikings are. Pillage, smash, burn, rape, kill, drink, pillage, smash, etc. It’s all well and good, everyone loves a good mass slaughter every once in a while, but don’t you think the lads who play Viking metal are just a tad… well… pretentious? Sure, bands like Bathory are so elite in the scene that back in, say, 1991, if anyone at a metal show in Stockholm or Oslo so much as muttered that the vocals in Hammerheart were “Just a tad off-key” they would find themselves in the middle of the most savage beating of their life. So, why now are we flooded with hundreds of bands who play boring riffs and yell a lot about setting villages on fire, while the classic bands who play the subgenre of Viking metal are shoved somewhere in the background? More importantly, where are the bands who are still playing today to step the genre up back to where it should be?

Enter British Viking metal band Forefather, who still remain as one of the few Viking metal bands who have been around long enough to have a taste of what the music was about while it was still relatively unknown. They formed in 1997, and have subsequently released 5 full length LP’s, each one getting stronger than the last. Their latest offering, Steadfast takes the general formula of Viking metal, namely harsh vocals and epic clean chants, melodic guitar riffing, and a really sweet cover depicting warriors ready to lop some heads off, and polishes it to the point where the music is simply glowing. Each song is packed with a variety of catchy and memorable riffs, using all the tricks in the trade to emphasize the creativity and general musicianship of the guitar playing. Sweeping leads, harmonized riffs, solos, bridges, anything you can think of is used in this album and used damn well.

Rolling double bass, blast beats that sound like they were from a black metal album, creative fills, all used beautifully to give the main attraction (the guitars) a tasteful backdrop to perform their melodic wankery. The vocals are often very harsh, sounding like a strange mix between Johan Hegg in terms of their depth and Quorthon in terms of their raspy qualities. Pinch harmonics are thrown around to highlight riff transitions, and multiple guitar solos are often used throughout the album, alongside numerous slower, melodic bridges (the ripping double bass backing a somber riff at about 4 minutes into “Hallowed Halls” immediately comes to mind). The entire album just has a coherence and a flow to it which is completely new to me in this genre, especially in the scene nowadays where Amon Amarth pretty much rules all. Each song is a compliment to the others before and after it, each heavy song a contrast to the soft one which just ended.

The entire album is just an overall win for this band, and I really hope that people get off their asses and give Forefather the recognition that they deserve as a powerhouse in the Viking metal scene today. I cannot name a fault in the album, I cannot point out a boring filler track, because they simply do not exist. Everything from the superb drumming to the epic and appropriate clean vocals to the surprisingly clean production screams quality, yet it took me a long time to actually hear about this band. I’ll tell you this right now to you Amon Amarth fans out there: these guys do it better. I’ll also tell you melodic death metal fans out there: this is a must listen. Quality in every single sense of the word.



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
leycec (5)
A requisite listen for all the former sons and daughters of England-that-was....


Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
July 13th 2009



6837 Comments


This review is one of your best I've read by far, plus the intro made me smile

Hawks
July 13th 2009



35548 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review like always. This album sounds pretty fucking awesome.

Digging: Sun Worship - Elder Giants

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2009



16309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man, I really enjoyed writing this as well. This album should be heard by all.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Zoo
July 13th 2009



3759 Comments


I remember listening to this almost a year ago and hating it. I might give it another shot.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2009



16309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow, that's pretty surprising from you. I loved this right off the bat and still am like 10 listens later.

BallsToTheWall
July 13th 2009



44164 Comments


British and viking metal don't really go in hand, i'd understand a celtic metal band. Nonetheless, good review, amazing opening paragraph. I might check these guys out. Also, listen to Hammer Horde for mroe awesome viking jams.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2009



16309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it's really weird considering the British got their ass kicked numerous times by vikings.

BallsToTheWall
July 13th 2009



44164 Comments


I know the Viking significance towards Ireland is great, because they formed Dublin, Cork, and a few other major cities along with introducing a currency system and teaching them to build boats. Esentially, The Irish would have killed themselves off if not for the North Men modernizing the savage heathens. I should pursue my interest in Celts and Vikings in Britain because i'm a bit lacking there.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2009



16309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

brb going to listen to Primordial.

Hawks
July 13th 2009



35548 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was going to listen to Primordial a little while ago, but I decided to listen to Orphaned Land instead.

BallsToTheWall
July 13th 2009



44164 Comments


Primordial touring with Amon Amarth would be the greatest tour ever.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2009



16309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I saw Amon Amarth and Ensiferum last October and it was pretty much the best.

BallsToTheWall
July 13th 2009



44164 Comments


Actualy scracth that. Primordial + Amon Amarth + Eluveitie + Ensiferum + Arkona + Waylander + Elvenking + Skyclad + Moonsorrow + Equilibrium + Korpiklaani + Temnozor = greatest album tour ever. Hail Oden, Lugh, Morrigan, Baldor, Cuchulainn, and any other Pagan god in Greek/Celtic/Scandinavian/Slavic culture.

jingledeath
July 14th 2009



7104 Comments


sounds awesome, will get

Wizard
July 14th 2009



19328 Comments


I remember hearing a few songs from these guys a while and I laughed pretty hard. This sounds good though so I will check them out. Good review dude.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2009



16309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah their older albums, which are the ones you might have heard, aren't nearly as good as this one is. Like I said, they got better with each album.

BallsToTheWall
July 14th 2009



44164 Comments


All the kids on youtube as well as the lastfm page for Forefather claim these guys play anglo saxon metal. That's more fitting. Ttitle track is decent.

jingledeath
July 16th 2009



7104 Comments


at first I thought this was really average but it's growing on me, will probably end up rating it a 3.5 or 4.

stargazer76
July 21st 2009



218 Comments


Great review! I've got to get hold of this ASAP.

Essence
August 23rd 2009



3583 Comments


This is really good.



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