Forever Still

Breaking Free EP

Written by: PP on 06/01/2014 21:27:40

It's been almost two years since I last reviewed a gothic metal release, and for good reason. Album after album I listened to bands without a desire to stand out in the most saturated metal genre out there where hundreds if not thousands of bands consistently put our releases that are identical to each other. Listening to the four-track EP "Breaking Free" by the Danish newcomers in Forever Still with an all too ironic name considering the genre they are playing in, it sounds like it's business as usual as you could literally interchange almost any female fronted band from this list with Forever Still and not be far off musically nor vocally.

The good news is that the three tracks on "Breaking Free" EP are a good representation of the better material available in gothic metal. While the instrumentation is your standard fare gothic metal with halfway heavy, chord-based guitars (think Within Temptation or Lacuna Coil here), the vocals by Maja Schønning are certainly something to write home about. She displays admirable variety in her style from lower-range singing to higher pitch wails, always sounding powerful and far-reaching in her delivery throughout. Perhaps more importantly, she's able to hook together great melodies in choruses, as both "The Key" and the chilling "Towards The Edge" will demonstrate.

The instrumentation fortunately never hops over into symphonic mode, even if an electronic backdrop persists on the background. Many bands in the genre tend to go all-in on the symphonic synth/keyboard melodies, which is often used as a convenient cover for bland, uninspiring instrumentation, so it is refreshing to hear Forever Still leaving this department largely exposed for closer scrutiny. Though not brilliant by any means, the guitars and bass deliver a passing performance that most of all works as a platform for Schønning to deliver her vocals as strongly as she does throughout the songs. But with the fourth track being a mere acoustic, piano-led version of second track "The Last Day", there isn't enough material on offer here to judge whether Forever Still 'got it' as a band or not. For now, they've written three catchy, melodic gothic metal tracks that'll fit right in with the gazillion other bands in the genre, but don't count on them convincing anyone that gothic metal has something new to offer.

Download: The Key, Towards The Edge
For the fans of: Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Epica, any and every gothic metal band ever
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.02.2013

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