If you like Norwegian styled symphonic black metal, you'll be pleased to know that there's another strong entry from a North American band here in 2008 (Woods of Ypres being the other) in the form of Pennsylvania's Forever Mourning. Emerging From the Shadows is their brand new independent release (can't see these guys being unsigned for long), and it's a real doozy, 36 minutes of powerful, orchestral symphonies mixed with raw black metal, a formula that's worked wonders for bands like Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Borknagar, and Old Man's Child, in turn doing the same for Forever Mourning. The band is made up of Erin Ettinger (vocals, bass & drum arrangements) and Ryan Chilcote (guitars, bass, drums, keyboards), a duo that really seems to have a handle on how to deliver punishing extreme metal that is given an elegant touch with all the symphonic elements. There's a near 14-minute three part epic called "Trilogy-Embodiment of Sorrow" that is well composed and quite dramatic in scope, chilling black metal shrieks/growls flying over jagged guitar riffs, frantic drum patterns, and tons of keyboard orchestrations. If you like your black metal more in your face, check out the supercharged "Solace" or the complex riffery (almost falling into the prog-metal realm) of "The Forgotten", two stunning pieces that deliver on all levels. Ettinger's maniacal vocals lead the way over Chilcote's layers of riff-o-rama on "Innocence Fades", while the closer "Destroyed By Ignorance" has more of a gothic/darkwave feel to it, the keyboards playing the main role, supported by jackhammer blast beats, chugging riffs, and scorching vocals.
Can't help but think that once word gets out about these guys, that the major extreme metal labels (Nuclear Blast, Napalm, Century Media, Regain, etc) will be looking to get Forever Mourning to sign on the dotted line. As much talent as this CD contains, I'd also love to see the guys flesh out the line-up so they can perhaps get some live gigs going here in the US. Loads of potential here folks-let's see where they go from here.
1. Solace 6:51
The Trilogy-Embodiment of Sorrow
2. Trilogy Part I: the Unpredictable Nature of Life 3:43
3. Trilogy Part Ii: Staring Into the Emptiness 3:58
4. Trilogy Part Iii: the Tragic Awakening 6:38
5. The Forgotten 5:08
6. Innocence Fades 5:23
7. Destroyed By Ignorance 4:18