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Man’s Last Portrait
Released: 2013, Self Released
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
From New Brunswick, New Jersey comes the Black Metal band Forlorn Path and their debut album Man’s Last Portrait as a free self-released album by the band themselves, an extremely noble and refreshing thing to see in the music world. The band has stated on their website that ‘the album is free and will remain free. We don’t have support from labels or promoters – we’re relying on you to get this music out there’. A bold and honest gesture and one which I think can only seek to help the band if it allows more and more people to hear and discover their music.
The album itself has nice production throughout and despite the drums being programmed, it’s not overly noticeable in most places and the music still has enough diversity and mixtures of tempos and styles to detract your mind away from that. The guitars cut through with a sinister wall of sound and the vocals have been produced with a great high biting edge to them which sounds really cool and the keyboard sections bring really interesting mellow break downs to the songs as well.
If you’re looking for an all-out fast paced hyper-blasting Black Metal album though then this probably isn’t the release for you (but then with the album being completely free to download, why not check it out?) the songs are all mostly mid tempo progressive and depressive Black Metal as opposed to being all out blood spitting 200mph fire breathing Black Metal songs like many other bands.
Despite the songs being long and having a variety of different sections and ups and downs, there is a noticeable element of the generic creeping through on some of the material. A harsh criticism I know for a completely free album but one which I think other Metal fans will possibly agree with me.
The material is certainly not bad by any stretch of the imagination but at the same time this is not an album that will be breaking any creative barriers I feel either. If you simply want a new progressive Black Metal band to check out which mixes a lot of different influences and styles though then this is an album that is definitely worth checking out. I
t has noticeable elements of bands such as Anathema (in their old days), Katatonia and Agathodaimon in the music which is a definite plus for this reviewer as well as their own unique style of epic, slow, haunting and depressing Black Metal to go as well.
I think as a final note it’s important to remember the fact that Forlorn Path have released the album into the world themselves with no support from any labels or promoters and have done all of this for zero profit as the album is completely free to anyone who wants it. It’s extremely rare to see this kind of thing happen in the music world let alone the Metal world and so I think whatever people may think about the music itself, respect and credit should be given where it is due for what these guys have done.
As a debut album it is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of Black Metal and inexcusably so given that you can obtain it for free!
Review by Joffie Lovett
1. The Coming of Winter
2. Empire of Decadence
3. Words Only Wind Can Speak
5. A Moment of Silence
6. As Hope Fades
8. Man's Last Portrait
9. What Lies Beyond
Dave Imbriaco - Vocals/Bass
Yuriy Garnaev - Guitars
Ivan Chernikov - Guitars
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