Review Summary: Former Periphery vocalist Chris Barretto returns...and in style.
If you enjoyed Periphery‘s self-titled album, you will be absolutely enthralled to hear Ever Forthright‘s debut record. The band, fronted by Chris Barretto, formed after Barretto left Periphery last year. Ever Forthright is the second album under his belt to be released in 2011, the first being his other project Friend For A Foe‘s EP, Source Of Isolation. Though I enjoyed the heck out of Source Of Isolation, this album from Ever Forthright blows every element that made that EP great right out of the water. It’s intense, invigorating, and one of the best progressive metal releases of the year hands-down.
With a blend of futuristic-sounding electronic parts and capacious allotments of progressive metal, the overall vibe of this record is spell-binding. Sounding a lot like Periphery but still containing a unique sound, Ever Forthright is chock full of memorable melodies and exciting verses, choruses, and solos. The songs are pretty lengthy, especially considering that there are 12 of them, but the amount of quality that is jam-packed into this vast quantity of music deserves attention from fans of all genres of metal, especially ones of the more djenty kind.
A lot of emotion is wrapped up in this record, such as the pure anger in ‘Spineless,” the mysteriousness of “The Little Albert Experiment,” and even the gloomy theatrics of the closer, “Clockwork.” The vocals reflect the varying emotions in this album too, especially considering the fact that the cleans are mystic and efflorescent in comparison to the more ballistic screams. The abundance of talent that this band possesses is extremely irresistible, and the great production and execution of slow, concentrated intros (especially in my personal favorite track on the record, “Screen Scenarios”), speedy Meshuggah-like riffage, Animals As Leaders-esque solos, and of course, the slap-happy pounding of the drums, kept my interest level at an all-time high. In fact, there isn’t a single song that didn’t keep me involved, and a few instances, such as the calming instrumentals in “Reflections” and abrupt death growls in “Dispose Of Your Optimism,” change things up a bit too.
Not only is Ever Forthright impressive in the sense of raw energy, emotion, and talent in general, but it also shows influences from many genres. Halfway through the lengthy second track “Latency And Tendencies,” a song that has incredible guitar melodies and solid screaming/singing from Barretto, there is a jazz solo. Yes, a jazz solo – and a freaking awesome one too – thanks to Barretto’s exuberant talent on the saxophone. At times in this album, my jaw drops from the metal’s immensity, then everything is drowned out by lounge music. I will say they’re not the first band to incorporate jazz into metal, but the way the music transitions from insane to chill is pretty tight.
Though the debate whether Ever Forthright is better than Periphery may prove the new metal sensation is a little less groundbreaking than the latter, they still deserve a lot of attention. My only and single complaint about the band’s self-titled is the fact that it covets a great commitment of time in order to really get into it, but in the end, it’s all worth it. Barretto has made good use of his talents outside of Periphery, and that’s probably the thing I’m most happy to see, because with Periphery becoming such a popular band, it would’ve been horrible to see his greatness go to waste.
Also found on The Review Spider: http://thereviewspider.net/2012/01/ever-forthright-ever-forthright/