Forgiven Rival released their debut full-length album ‘This Is A War’ two years ago in their native country of Australia. However, we here in the United States have only gotten the album earlier this month. These guys are a mix of hardcore and metalcore and, while what they play isn’t exactly original, they songs have some clever twists in them. So, let’s see how our brothers from down under fare after the jump.
The album starts off with ‘The Grey’, a track that showcases how the band use harmonized vocals as well as guitar harmonies very typical to this genre. It’s a very rhythmic track, complete with low-string chugging matched with pounding double bass drums. ‘The Grey’ is a good example of what is to come, though not the best choice. Perhaps another song from later on in the album would’ve been able to demonstrate the mixture of metalcore and the influence of ‘radio-prog’.
The production on this album is very solid. The drums have a solid thump, especially the kick drum (wow!) and the cymbals have a nice presence to them. The guitars are very crunchy yet articulate and the bass is a great low end presence. The vocals are mixed very well considering that there are three singers AND there has to be a balance between clean and growled vocals. When present, acoustic instruments have rich, full tones that do not sound emulated or faked. The album also makes good use of panning and extra effects to spice up the tracks.
The songs have a great flow to them and make sense when transitioning. Listening to the music, I hear the influences Killswitch Engage but I also hear a bit of 10 Years in the vocal styles and in some of the guitar chord changes. If either of these bands is to your liking, I highly recommend checking this album out. It truly wouldn’t surprise me if, very soon, Forgiven Rival gets the same recognition and respect as Killswitch Engage.
4 out of 5 skulls