Forsaken, a six-piece metal band formed in 2010 and hailing from Bangalore, India proudly claims “When Thrash and Melody had intercourse, Forsaken was born” on their webpage. No truer words have been spoken. Most certainly not the most celebrated part of the world for metal bands (I mean come on, it’s not Germany or Finland so…) India has managed to whip up some pretty talented and knowledgeable musicians. And more miraculously, they somehow all managed to find each other in the massive crowds and horrible traffic. Their latest self-release, Hemispheres, features some of the most creative and unique songs I have heard in quite a while. Blending real heavy metal with thrash and melodic death metal, this EP certainly grabs your attention and does not let go.
Beginning with quite the lovely yet misleading introduction, “Nothing” is a slow track featuring clean guitar and prominent bass lines, doused with the perfect amount of reverb. Then, this eerie keyboard feature begins that reminds one of an 80’s horror movie right before the killer gets his unsuspecting victim. And so begins the heavy metal. The distorted guitar enters with a groovy riff and the drums run right along. The bass is noticeable and gallops well with the drums, and then some of the eeriest vocals I have heard in a while set in featuring a truly hollow yet guttural growl. This song, “Alter Ego” is what this band is all about, thrash and melody having “intercourse”.
The next track, “Desolated Dreams” kicks off with an awesome power metal-esque keyboard feature, then quickly drops back into the thrashier, heavier tones. Towards the end of the track, the drums pick up into a mind-blowing galloping progression and the guitar lays out a killer guitar solo to complete the song. The title track “Hemispheres” begins and reels you into a stunning display of great musicianship all around, and amazing instrumental song-writing abilities. I managed to get lost in this song quite easily, but found my way back in time to replay it to get lost all over again.
“The Impossibility of Reason” is five minutes and fourteen seconds worth of straight up thrash. Beginning slowly, with clean guitar, you might not agree, but give the song a minute to kick in and you’ll understand. Then comes the closer to the album, heavily death metal influenced with growling vocals, “Unsterblich”. This track sticks out on the EP because it is definitely less polished than the rest. It almost seems like a completely new band is playing. Mid-song the band throws in a bridge of keyboards and beautiful guitar work that I am instantly drawn into. The harsh vocal style and recording quality does throw me off though.
All around, this is one hell of an EP. The vocals are fantastically haunting, the drums are killer, and the guitar, bass, and synth have a great way of complimenting the eeriness in the music with the right amount of effects and great songwriting. My favorite moments on the album are the instrumental works; they are wonderfully melodic yet heavy as hell and really showcase each musician’s pure talent. This is definitely a band to watch out for world, cheers to you Forsaken!