Virginia’s Foretoken is the new technical, symphonic black/melodic death metal bans from Steve Redmond (guitars/orchestration) and Dan Cooley (vocals), who both serve in technical death metal band Cyaegha (whose debut Steps to Descent, I reviewed here way back in 2009). They are aided by drummer Hannes Grossman (Obscura, Necrophagist),  as well as a couple of guest solos from Arisis’s James Malone, so you get some idea of what we are dealing with here.

This is swirling. busy, blistering technical melodic black/death metal, and certainly Arsis springs to mind as well as Epoch of Unlight, Scholomance, and Inferi  (and other The Artisan Era bands) but the whole thing is drenched in epic, and equally busy Fleshgod Apocalypse levels of orchestration that’s as frantic as the riffs, plentiful leads and drumming. It’s top-notch stuff that tells the tales of folklore and mythology from around the world.

It’s all very good, exceptionally played and produced (Jacob Hansen helps out with mixing), if a bit overwrought. Some of the songs are a bit long (10 minutes plus) and really don’t have too many memorable hooks, but rather blow you away with complexity and symphonic bluster, which at times is fine and often rather awe-inspiring, when they hit that perfect mix of the complex melodic blast and dramatic, overlayed keys such as the second track and personal favorite, “The Retribution”,  “A Deathless Prison” and “His Rage Made Manifest”, which by no coincidence are shorter tracks that done wane as long as say “Hamartia” or closer “Indelibility of Regret”, which deliver sprawling 10-minute numbers that go on for a bit long, especially with the often overwhelming complexity and intensity on display.

I’m kinda digging some of Prosthetic’s recent metal acts and release like the Astralborne, Fires In the Distance ,Undeath, Inferi Bruo, and certainly this very intense release from a promising US act that I’ll be hoping delivers more albums, and isn’t just a one-time side project.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 29th, 2020


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