Released: 2010, Nightmare Records
Power Metal has been riding a high for at least a dozen years now and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of new, young hungry bands entering the game. The sheer number of new bands in the classic, traditional, power metal genre is staggering. I would suggest that the basic appeal of well-played Metal music with power and melody, really is the corner-stone of the genre. Many bands in other genres, are faster, more extreme, crazier, more progressive however it always seems to come back to the core, the root values of the genre that has the broadest appeal. Consequently we get many, many new bands like Forever’s Edge starting out each and every year.
These American hopefuls have been around a few years but this is their first shot at wider public recognition with the debut album, CHAOTIC SILENCE released on Nightmare Records. After a two-minute melodic, mellow (but atmospheric) soundtrack-like intro we get down to business with the opening cut, ‘Everlost’. Shying away from an all-out assault driven by double-kick we hear instead more of a mid-tempo cruiser, crunchy, punchy, with nice little drum-flourishes. This type of mid-pace head-banger is easy on the ears. The mid-section features a nice keyboard solo, guitar solo and some mixed soloing that accentuate each other nicely.
Many of the songs feature note-dense flurries of guitar and keyboards and then accent swashes of keyboards on the more melodic chorus parts. There are certainly some progressive tendencies in the band. I could have done without the saxophone. I’m not a big fan of horns in metal. In fact the ballad, ‘Mourning Star-Forever And Never’ was one of the weaker parts on the album. Don’t get me wrong, I love ballads but it just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Sure it added diversity to a fairly intense album, but it just didn’t fit.
Quite a few of the songs fall into the 6-7 minute range. At about an hour there is a lot of music to digest here. Vocalist, Clay Barton has a strong voice, decent range and power with clear presentation. He is also known for his work with Suspyre. He shares some of the vocal work with Sharon McPherson who has a charming and commanding voice. I’d like to hear more of her in the future.
This is a great album, everything is top-notch, but will they have enough of a distinct identity to compete for the ears (and dollars) of metal heads world-wide with the other hundreds of bands in this genre that put out albums this year? I certainly hope so. They are certainly deserving of our attention.