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The Foreshadowing - Seven Heads Ten Horns (2016) - Review

Band: The Foreshadowing
Album title: Seven Heads Ten Horns
Release date: 22 April 2016
Label: Cyclone Empire

01. Ishtar
02. Fall Of Heroes
03. Two Horizons
04. New Babylon
05. Lost Soldiers
06. 17
07. Until We Fail
08. Martyrdom
09. Nimrod
    I - The Eerie Tower
    II - Omelia
    III - Collapse
    IV - Inno Al Dolore

It has been four years ago when Italian gods of gothic doom The Foreshadowing released their masterpiece Secong World and soon after the dust around the album settled down I was frequently checking their social profiles if any news about new album are unveiled. So, you can imagine how eagerly I was waiting for this one, mostly because The Foreshadowing never disappointed so far, rather than that every single album they've released is more or less a culmination, a proper masterpiece and a highlight of the genre. With their unique blend of melancholic atmospheres, gothic metal and doom they instantly gained a lot of interest from fans and media worldwide, and even though they often listed as their influences well known big names of the genre, they are an entity on their own and if I said in the review of Second World, "if The Foreshadowing have been learning from masters of gothic doom, now it's time that masters should learn from them...". After I've heard the new album I stand behind those words more than ever!

Like every album from these Italians so far also their fourth full-lenght is a semi-concept one. If on the previous album, Second World, the lyrical matters were dealing with survivors after the holocaust who were trying to rebuild a new civilization, this time the band kinda gets back in time, actualy in recent time, talking about Europe as the new Babylon. It deals with the decline of Europe that foreshadows its coming fall, a view on life nowadays consequent to the failure of United Europe. The topics have biblical references (the collapse of the Tower of Babel, the scarlet woman with seven heads and ten horns arising from the sea, the mother of prostitutes, etc). In a word a great theme for this kind of music and not only, a handy thematics for a deeper deliberation about the things that happen around us.

There are some slight changes in the band, the most visible one is that their friend and producer, the ex-Novembre drummer Giuseppe Orlando replaced Jonah Padella, who parted ways with the band for personal reasons in 2013. This change showcases in much more emphasis on drums, while also drumming sounds more progressive, powerful and technical than ever before. As well guitars, handled by Alessandro Pace and Andrea Chiodetti are more fronted when it comes to leads and riffs sound heavier, while keeping that typical The Foreshadowing melodic factor that captivates the listener in an instant. I think that talking about this and that instrument is unnecessary, everything just plays a perfect part in the overall sound integrity which culminates in the epic compositions full of bleak melancholic atmosphere.

Still I have to make a remark of Marco Benevento who is maybe one of the best vocalist around, he's a singer that adds that special emotional note to the songs, yet he doesn't need to use harsh vocals to make everything heavy and dark. In a paralel world his deep voice tone can be compared to the one and only Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell when he's singing with clean voice, but Benevento is a bit closer to Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode. In the magnificient "17" we can hear a dramatic female speech, then in "Martyrdom" a children choir and on a couple of occasions a real choir, which deepens so greatly the whole soundscape and makes the musical palette even more dynamic. All in all vocally this album is very strong and even though I was in ave of this on all of The Foreshadowing albums, now must say that this time they surpassed themselves, just listen for example to "Fall Of Heroes" or "New Babylon" and you'll get my point.

The album gets its peak and climax in the epic 14 minutes long transcending "Nimrod", which is divided into four parts. In this breathtaking journey the imagination flows, and in here the band showcases the best elements and all of their qualities which are brought into artistical heights. Seven Heads Ten Horns is an album that needs to be heard in one spin, from the start until the very last note, because it offers so very much and tells the story in such a picturesque way full of emotions and darkness, yet leading unto dreamlike universe. It's a fluid album with so many hidden things, many layers that slowly unveil to the listener with each new listen. The sound is so very dense, rich, moody, hypnotizing and empowering, sometimes almost cinematic, it's another level of gothic doom metal, with many alloys, either from classical music, post-rock, gothic rock, traditional heavy metal, martial, medieval, sacral and oriental music. It has that typical mediteranean scent that enriched their sound already in the past, in addition to all that it's also top notch produced, mixed and mastered.

After hearing the solemn Seven Heads Ten Horns there's a question, what else can The Foreshadowing offer in the future? But I was asking myself the same thing after their previous album, and the album before that,... so, what remains is to indulge in this 55 minutes long masterwork, and believe me that if I wouldn't have to write reviews of other albums I will completely satisfy my listening needs with this one for a long time. Seven Heads Ten Horns is not only a masterpiece, it's a cult!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 10/10

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