The Foreshadowing – Seven Heads Ten Horns (Cyclone Empire)

Tuesday, 12th April 2016
Rating: 8/10

The struggle with Italy’s The Foreshadowing has been this: their debut album, Days of Nothing (2007), was so good, so timely, and so thoroughly intoxicating, that it’s next to impossible for the band to top it. Now, we’re rarely of the opinion a band’s best work is often their debut, for that is often fundamentally incorrect. For The Foreshadowing, however, their output since has been a hair spotty, in particular 2010’s Oinos (which never saw a proper North American release), and 2012’s Second World, which had its moments, but didn’t totally deliver. The same can’t be said Seven Heads Ten Horns, which sees the Italian troupe heading back in the right direction.

The band’s Gothic doom thrust relies heavily on the you’re-lucky-I-even-got-out-of-bed vocals of Marco Benevento. He’s Goth all the way, deep and throaty, emotive, but not emotive to the point where he’s going to be lugging a box of tissues around, if you catch our drift. When he’s given a strong melodic foundation in which to work (i.e. “Two Horizons”), he’s simply fantastic. The aforementioned “Two Horizons” thrusts The Foreshadowing back into the conventional verse-chorus-verse-chorus realm of their debut, which also applies on “Lost Soldiers,” the album’s highlight. About as dreary as anything that came from Days of Nothing, “Lost Soldiers” goes all the way when it drops in a climatic guitar pattern at the song’s conclusion. It’s a real gut-wrencher.

Aside from the two above-mentioned cuts, there’s plenty to sift through on Seven Heads Ten Horns. The band continues to find ways to stretch its compositions out (“New Babylon”) while retaining its somber glow (“Until We Fall”). Furthermore, it’s an album that readily puts The Foreshadowing on display as one of the few remaining practitioners of dead-end dreary Goth metal. Good to see them right the ship.

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