Dread the Forsaken: Unbound

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Dread the Forsaken: Unbound
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Dread the Forsaken: Unbound
Alternative Metal, Progressive Metal
Nightmare Records
November 23rd, 2010
Release length: 37:46
Myspace
Website
Dread the Forsaken is a band that is categorized as a Progressive act by many sources, including their label, Nightmare Records. However, one spin through their debut full-length, Unbound, and you’ll realize that there is far more going on with this release. According to the press release with this effort, the band, hailing from Guatemala, but their vocalist from the US state of Pennsylvania, blends Power Metal with a “raw” Hardcore sound, comparing the band to acts such as Disturbed, Mudvayne, and even older Anthrax. However, it’s clear that one of those things is not like the other…

While Unbound does retain some Power Metal and Heavy Metal influence in the music, such as with the guitars on certain songs like “Walk With Me”, which features fast paced verses with some complexity and comparable intensity, but the chorus goes into more a Pop influenced Hardcore sound similar to that of Life of Agony‘s recent material. “Wasted Youth” makes for another track along these lines. For the most part, the song comes off as a Crossover Thrash song, though there is just plenty about it that seems to go more towards a Hardcore sound then anything, though there are a few bridges that bring in a heavier, more ominous tone, such as the spoken word bridge that occurs about half way through the track, clashing against the more upbeat and fun sounding track.

While there are some tracks that showcase some great talent with the band, much of the music will show through with shines of Disturbed, or even a less-Groove oriented Machine Head. “Darkest Days”, for instance, rings full of Disturbed influence, especially with the vocal approach utilized. The song really isn’t that bad, though it sounds hollow, mostly thanks to the production of the album which also sounds a little hollow, being something that was obviously an independent production, but as if it were to retail the old-school early Hardcore or Punk atmosphere that often accompanied albums in the early days of it’s birth. For example, such as “Wasted Youth” benefits greatly from the atmosphere of this album, and the more Hardcore-oriented track “Unbound” sounds strong thanks to it, but some of the other tracks on this release, like “Give Me Wounds” and “Playground”, ultimately sound weak and don’t work with the raw production quality as much.

For as cluttered as the music to Unbound is, there are still some good tracks present. “Give Me Wounds” is still a strong track, despite the issues with the recording, boasting both fast and intense music throughout the song, but a lighter, catchier chorus that easily will be stuck in your head for a good while to come. “Wasted Youth” is another enjoyable song, mostly because of it’s Thrash input, though it is a little more upbeat then it should be, however it does show a nice hint of Anthrax influence without being too over the top or absolute idol-worship. “Darkest Days” winds up being a song that nicely shows off the band’s musical abilities, as well as is an enjoyable Power Metal song.

But the simple fact is that, while Unbound by Dread the Forsaken does have some good tracks on it, it’s still not that great an album. There’s so much going on in the music that much of the release pulls in various directions in the songs themselves. Of course, the mixture of various Metal styles works well with the bands lighter, catchier material that verges on a Mallcore presentation, but then some of the songs suffer due to the rather raw production quality. Dread the Forsaken has some great talent in the mix, but until the group focuses on a specific sound, it’s just not going to be enough to keep this album a memorable one.

01. Give Me Wounds – 3:58
02. Darkest Days – 4:06
03. Walk With Me – 3:57
04. Playground – 3:26
05. Wasted Youth – 4:06
06. Dread the Forsaken – 4:42
07. Roses Are Burning – 4:14
08. Dead Chances – 4:39
09. Unbound – 4:37
Initial Pressing Score: 5.5/10

Dread the Forsaken (band)
Dread the Forsaken

Digital review copy of this release provided by Nightmare Records.