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September 2004
Released: 2003, Golden Lake Productions
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Woah man. It’s not too often that you’ll hear of a metal band from Malta, but damn if these guys don’t do their little island proud! Rumbling forth with a crushingly authentic doom metal sound, Forsaken are probably about the best new doom band that I’ve heard in quite some time. I mean, you can hear the cues back to all of the expected touch points (Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, Solitude Aeturnus, and Candlemass etc.) but the band is savvy enough to make a sound of their own. The band also mixes up the tempos, rather than plod along at a painfully slow pace throughout. In fact, the climactic section of “Where Angels Have Fallen” is quite speedy, though no less moving.

Crown jewel of the band is vocalist Leo Stivala, the longest serving member of the band. His voice is wondrously emotive and searing with anguish. To hear him combined with the band’s sharp riff-writing and sense of timing and the results are downright lethal. For proof, see the slow build up, and slight airy pause, before launching into the aching chorus of “Via Crucis” – absolutely stunning. For added effect, the band sparingly employs keyboards in the background (have no fear, the guitars are clearly the king) along with the occasional female vocal.

Believe me, these guys are the real thing, and with luck you will be hearing a lot about them in the coming years. Simply put, these are four of the best doom songs that you are likely to hear this year. Go. Get it.
Track Listing

1) Where Angels Have Fallen
2) Via Crucis (The Way of the Cross)
3) A Martyr’s Prayer
4) Wither the Hour


Leo Stivala: Vocals
Sean Vukovic: Guitars
Albert Bell: Bass
Simeon Gatt: Drums
Mario Ellul: Keyboards

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