Released: 2009, I Hate Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The most stunning doom metal that I have become familiar with during my 3 decades in the metal scene – sometimes more devoted years, sometimes a little bit less - is a traditional doom metal band coming from Malta, a densely populated microstate in the EU. Forsaken was formed 19 years ago - and after a handful of demos + EPs and 3 full-length albums, this superb doom metal act has truly managed to plant its firm imprint on the world of doom as one of the most appreciated, ´classic´ acts of the whole genre they represent.
Now it´s time for the band´s fourth album, titled AFTER THE FALL, which has also placed Forsaken in their new home, the Sweden-based I Hate Records. Probably a very good call from these Maltese doomsters because the staff of I.H.R. have always had sharp ears for some high quality bands, The Gates of Slumber coming to my mind on the top of them all.
Listening to Forsaken´s latest nerve-stimulating opus, AFTER THE FALL, it´s always those two words that crawl to my lips: pomp and heaviness. Using the word ´epic´ is perhaps also more than a fitting word when describing the outcome of the band members´ intention of giving this album some ´extra thrills´ because that´s what this album is all about: Epic and traditional doom metal that takes its listener on an incredible journey where none of us doom metal appreciating fans want to return from, wanting it to last forever.
As a more ´keep-your-feet-tightly-planted-on-the-ground´ comment about this fantastic album, to me AFTER THE FALL represents the kind of doom I mostly enjoy to listen to, in normal circumstances. I´ve never been that much a fan of ´funeral doom´, or ´sludg-ish doom´, or whatever names people have given for any sub-genres of doom metal. Forsaken´s very traditional sounding, pure heavy metal-based doom metal is simply so tempting, and overall offering so many great moments that it may easily get stuck in your CD-player for days, without you even noticing it.
In fact, I would even go that far and say Forsaken is the Maltese answer to one of my favorite doom metal bands ever, Solitude Aeternus, because there are just so many musical resemblances between these two bands in question in my opinion. Awesome vocalists, excellent musicianship, sort of an inborn capability to make a perfect match between traditional metal and doom metal – and what´s most important, they have put so much weight on their songs on their latest offering that is surely meant to be remembered from one doom/heavy metal generation to another. AFTER THE FALL is quite a masterpiece of traditional doom metal that is easy to worship for many years to come. Simply pure brilliance, I would say.