Release DetailsLABEL Blood & Ink Records
RELEASED ON 1/1/2005
Calm Seas Don't Make Sailors
posted on 4/2005 By:
Are they gone? You know those ignorant lashers that despise anything Christian or metalcore regardless of other peoples' opinions, and more importantly musical merit. OK. Good, if you are still reading this you are either one of those aforementioned people with a patience and hate for the genre so strong you will read this and leave a scathing lash anyway, or you are genuinely interested in what I have to say.
Much like last year's Chorus of Obliteration by The Showdown, Foreknown have provided this year's guilty Christian metalcore pleasure in the form of their convincing debut album that despite being so overloaded with clichés, religious rhetoric and every metalcore paradigm ever, was still rather enjoyable. Unlike fellow Christian offerings from Alove For Enemies and Winter Solstice, Foreknown actually back their conviction with some decent songs albeit following a pretty standard musical Unearth/Misery Signals laced standard. Less warlike than the vengeful Old Testament offerings of The Showdown or Symphony In Peril, Foreknown’s conceptual approach is a more compassionate New Testament approach and it matches their more melodic, layered sound perfectly.
The parts of the album just don’t on the surface add up. The drumming is sloppy. The vocals are the usual angst filled roars, scream and spoken words (but they do eschew the suddenly popular backing death growls), but overall they aren’t really emotional as I’d like. The quirky song titles don’t seem to match the message the lyrics convey. The expected dual guitars cover the usual mix of dual galloping Maiden/Gothenburg layering and solos with harmonies aplomb done rather well verging on Shai Hulud/Life in Our Way/Sleeping by the Riverside-ish overtures at times, and of course there’s breakdowns abound that are pretty well done also. So why with all the rudimentary baseline elements and overwrought clichés does it all work? I’m not sure, but it all comes together to form a damn solid if contrived album that seems to somehow have a long lasting effect on me despite its utterly unoriginal approach.
Even the intro “In the Beginning” is clichéd but it has a heartfelt conviction that doesn’t come across as forced or tacky. And I can’t begin to name the vast number of influences of “Through Thick and Thin”, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. The same can be said for basically every track except the electronic NIN lean of “Speechless”, a rare tangent from the band’s cookie cutter but addictive sounds. “This Aint No Summer Vacation”, “Tonight, the Ghosts they Dance”, “Voted Most Likely to Succeed”; all variants of melodic metalcore sure to make a majority of ‘real’ metal fans grumble in disdain for either their musical delivery or lyrical themes, but personally I found the entire package to be pretty entertaining and so will fans most that enjoy good metalcore, regardless of religious issues.
Truth be told, I’ve been giving this album a rather lot of attention, and I’m not sure why. None of the songs really hit me as classic, but as a whole each song works well as an entire album. The breakdowns are sturdy but not ground shaking, and frankly the drummer needs to go. But yet I still listen, and enjoy.
Lash away Satan's close minded minions.
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