Forsaken - Pentateuch

(CD, Mighty Music, 2017)

It's rare to see bands affecting me the way Maltese FORSAKEN have done so. You know that feeling when you don't know what to do with yourself being overwhelmed with emotion. I love the records but it really is onstage where everything comes alive for real. I think FORSAKEN have managed to capture the vibe they have live in a fantastic way on brand new “Pentateuch”. The extremely heavy and dark sound is still organic but, for sure, the speakers jump from the depth when cranking the volume up. This is clear from the start with the slow beat of “Serpent Bride” takes off (after the dynamic “Phaneros (Coming To Light)” intro). It feels a little rawer and edgier when compared to last release “After The Fall”, a bit backwards in time to the technical and jagged early days of the band, with a very smooth sound though. The mix works perfectly.

The situation having seen a band live does the trick too. FORSAKEN was recording a live video and where could they better do that other than the 'Malta Doom Metal Festival'? The place was packed and since they're at home the support they got was massive. One song in particular stood out that evening, “Via Crucis (The Way Of The Cross)”; the massive singing from the crowd sent shivers down my spine and that feeling comes back whenever I listen to FORSAKEN now. I get the same reaction and feeling when listening to “Pentateuch”; the up-tempo “Primal Wound” which touches upon the contemporary CANDLEMASS sound with an ounce of MEMORY GARDEN. I really love it when the chorus-line comes in and it's taken down to a lower pace and FORSAKEN is building on those fantastic melodies mainly delivered by vocalist extraordinaire Leo Stivala. But the guitars building up below the vocals should not be neglected either. The absolute favorite, which goes on repeat a few times before I can move on is “The Dove And The Raven". The dramatic intro is fantastic and set a fateful mood immediately. Again, it's heavy as Hell with tons of dynamics and different expressions. It's a massive tune, clocking in on just over 9 minutes. But with the build-up and the different sections, it doesn't feel long at all. The delivery in this song really sets FORSAKEN in a class of their own both when it comes to creativity and musical performance. When Leo uses his full force and delivers these powerful vocal lines it really sends shivers down my spine and it sounds incredible.

The raw riffs in “Decalogue” draw my mind towards STILLBORN (funny, I only come up with Swedish references...), the verses sounds extremely cold and dark. It gnaws on and on and for a band to continue playing the same thing this amount of time and me as the listener hardly noticing it nothing to take for granted. There's a real epic closing with "Apocryphal Winds" which builds up from start to finish over the song’s almost 16 minutes. It's amazing how everything is held together with melodies and a very strong chorus-line. The development from very mellow to the grand finale is just fabulous and again it doesn't feel like an extremely long track.

What was odd with “Pentateuch” was that I thought it crushed everything in its way the first few times I listened to it. Then it dropped all of a sudden but caught up everything and more in the end.





01. Phaneros (Coming To Light)
02. Serpent Bride
03. The Banishment
04. Primal Wound
05. The Dove And The Raven
06. Decalogue
07. Sabaoth (The Law Giver)
08. Apocryphal Winds


Leo Stivala - Vocals
Sean Vukovic - Guitar
Albert Bell - Bass
Simeon Gatt - Drums