Dread the Forsaken
11/12/2010 2:46:08 PM - Review by: Eric Compton
8/12/2009 - Review by: Hail and Kill
It's not everyday that metal talent from the United States and Central America join forces, but Dread The Forsaken seem to have defied convention, bringing together a couple of ambitious Guatemalan musicians and an American singer for this impressive demo album. Without a doubt, the material inside "Unbound," while still rough around the edges, can make a solid debut if only it reaches an experienced producer sooner rather than later.
Knowing that the art of subtle intros remains a favorite in circles attuned to the melodic stuff, opener "Give Me Wounds" starts somber and then slowly builds a brooding melody that's all riffs and trembling bass lines. This is where Gordon Tittsworth's James Labrie-meets-someone else's vocal style is introduced—as well as his catchy, straightforward lyrics that make each song stand out. Now Gordon is not exactly a dead ringer for the Dream Theatre frontman, but come on, he's an alumnus of Images of Eden—a Prog band. Comparisons are inevitable, but putting these aside for a moment, Dread the Forsaken know how to sharpen their game with classic metal worship on "Darkest Days" that's followed by the up tempo "Walk With Me." While this three-man project doesn't rely too much on jaw dropping musicianship, Dread The Forsaken's greatest asset is the songwriting team of guitarist Mauricio Liborio and vocalist, Gordon Tittsworth, both of whom put special emphasis on strong choruses matched by the right sound. This is why every song here has something memorable in them amid the old school gallops, guitar harmonies, downtuned riffs, and basic drum patterns.
More glumness is heard on "Wasted Youth," the self named "Dread the Forsaken" with its epic tilt, and the angst-driven "Dead Chances." But rather than finish their first foray into a serious discography at the brutal end of the musical spectrum, Dread the Forsaken close the curtains with a soothing piano driven outro titled "Days of Reflection." For a demo the songs here are a cut above the work of most artists still honing their craft. Really, the only thing Dread the Forsaken lack for "Unbound" is a final mix, new cover art, and a live band to tour with. Custom made for fans of Dream Theatre, Savatage, Jorn Lande, Iron Maiden, and any melodic metal with a lethal edge, Dread the Forsaken are welcome new arrivals in a fledgling scene.
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