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Forevers' Fallen Grace: Firebound Manifesto

If you let your eyes cast down to the final (and bonus) track on Firebound Manifesto, the fourth album from Boston's Forevers' Fallen Grace, you'll find it is a cover version of the Mercyful Fate classic "Come To The Sabbath". Something that gives all kinds of hints as to what you'll find across the eight original tracks that precede it. That's not to suggest the cumbersomely named FFG (that's easier...) are Mercyful Fate copyists, far from it actually. However there's no denying that the NWOBHM that meets doom on this album has a lot of the intensity and desire that bands who were coming out around the same time of the Fate always did - certainly no bad thing. There's also little argument that on my first couple of listens to Firebound Manifesto I couldn't quite stop myself from comparing the vocals of Michael Ferro to a certain King Diamond, although one who is firing out his vocals in a scattergun approach and who might never actually have heard the songs he's singing to. OK, so Ferro isn't actually utilising a falsetto similar to the KD but the wildly varying pitches and crazying octaves that are employed do undoubtedly both catch you off-kilter and capture your attention. For some that attention grabbing won't always be in a good way, although there's no denying that the twin guitar attack of Ken McKee and Nelson Moore do throw out bristling riffs that do somehow mesh with the unusual larynx bashing that's going on.

The foundation is laid out strong and proud through the rhythm section of Kyle Hannon on bass and James Norris on drums, allowing the fret-duo the room to create a mixture of complex solos, reverberating riffs and ever intertwining breaks and motifs. Cleverly the results, whilst avoiding any accusations of trail blazing or stark ingenuity, do create a strong mix of new and old, and dark and light. However all the while those vocals hang over everything and with that love it or loathe it flavour that they reek of, they really will either seal the deal for you, or break the camel's back.

A solid effort, but one that will split opinions and fire up as many people as it leaves cold.

Track Listing
1. A Slow Epic
2. Dominion
3. Wrought From Within
4. Unrequited
5. Sky's Last Breath
6. Bane Of Harmony
7. The Dying Light
8. From The Shadows...To The Dark
9. Come To The Sabbath

Added: January 25th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Forevers' Fallen Grace BandCamp
Hits: 1763
Language: english

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