Sunday, August 7, 2016

Victim's Foretaste-Incarnation

In the infant stages of this blog you are reading, it has reached a milestone of 666 views. Naturally, I had to capture the moment, and when any band takes notice, with a little digging into what they do, it's a good idea to give them some press. In this case, the review will go to a band out of Russia called Victim's Foretaste and their debut album Incarnation.

Before getting into the album review, some background information about Victim's Foretaste. They formed in 2008 and were originally called Everlasting Rain and were originally planning to play music along the lines of Charon and Eternal Tears of Sorrow. However, once they settled on a style of music, they had to change their name to reflect the style better, hence Victim's Foretaste. Having been under their current moniker since last year, that doesn't necessarily give the listener enough time to figure out what they can offer. Given that they've been working at it since 2008, it should be no surprise that they were seeing what fits best for them. Their lyrical themes are inspired by the likes of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and the Silent Hill and Resident Evil series.

Now, for the album Victim's Foretaste put out, which is Incarnation. Looking at the album cover, it is clear that the inspiration for their lyrical themes are on display. As for the music, while the music isn't exactly treading any new ground, as it does wear their influences on their sleeve, which would be along the lines of Sonic Syndicate and Amaranthe, since like those two bands, Victim's Foretaste utilizes both male and female vocalists (Stanislav Suchkov and Johanna Ergwath). On the opening track "Destination," it does try to establish an atmosphere, as it doesn't go full bore on the speedometer. Bands with more musical talent can pull this off, but given the relative inexperience of Victim's Foretaste, it is something worth noting, as they are willing to work to stand out in a crowded melodic metal scene. The atmosphere building continues on "An Hour," which seems to be reliant on a balanced attack of keyboards and guitars, with the keyboards not being too overpowering to the point of drowning out the rest of the music. Musically, it becomes more of a group effort, and it shows on "A New Day," one of the better songs on the album. Like the contrasting vocals, the keyboards provide the flash to the substance of the guitars with the rhythm section holding it all together. In fact, the supporting music is actually one of the brighter points on the album, as it stands out for not only showing off its ability, but also in a controlled manner that won't get away if the speed gets turned up high. The vocals aren't especially strong, a byproduct of the fact that the individual vocals sound like they're pigeonholed into the typical sections for both harsh male and clean female vocals. The songs themselves will likely take a few listens to memorize, as there isn't a true defining factor that separates each song, although "The Mist" comes awfully close. Mostly, it just feels like Victim's Foretaste is going through the motions and are just learning to get comfortable with what they want to be in terms of sound.

It took some time before the band that would become Victim's Foretaste figured out what they wanted to do in terms of sound. With the release of Incarnation, they get to see and hear what works well for them (overall musical cohesion) and what needs work (vocals and overall confidence in their sound). While it isn't a perfect way to start, there is a decent foundation on which they can build upon, and perhaps just getting the debut album out was a way to show that they want to go through with it. Hopefully, with album number two, they can relax a little and just play without thinking too much about it.

You can listen to the Victim's Foretaste Incarnation at their bandcamp.

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