Forsaken Crown – The Ignorant One (2019)

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This is the debut album for this deathcore band, made up of folks from Belgium and France. It was formed by Cédric (drums) and Thomas (bass) back in 2014. Alexandre (vocals) and Matthieu (guitar) joined the project soon after. The group was launched in February 2015 and began its first dates in May 2015. In 2017 the group focused on making this album and then stopped playing live for 2 years for personal reasons.

“Through My Eyes” gives us our first look at this album. It starts low down, with a reverberating acoustic guitar. It’s eerie and creates a sense of resonant expectation. The sound is slow, with one slightly distorted guitar joining in the disquiet. A music box-like element adds a sense of disturbing whimsy and I was wondering where this was going. It was going to go off! Powerful vocals muscle forth against a backdrop of staccato percussion. The guitars are tough and substantial and I admired the engineering – the way that balance is used and that the guitars surfaced with a clever use of steadily increasing volume.

“Corpse Eater” piqued my interest. With a title like that, it needed to not just talk the talk. At a duration of 1:19, it starts with what sounds like a grab from a movie, joined by berserk guitars and then made eminently more chilling by the voice of an evil young girl. It closes with guitars that sounded like a dropped tuning that were downright sinister. This track is a feast of the positively frightening and deliciously confronting that definitely walks the walk.

“God Works in Mysterious Ways” begins its work with a restrained opening of simple guitar notes, set against a reverberating backdrop. These notes are used throughout, but more powerfully and they are gradually augmented. The track soon leaps forward into a robust and powerful sound, but it tempers into a different, whip-like sound, before returning to the initial arrangement. The track finishes in a much faster iteration, including intense guitar solos.

“The Ignorant One” is aware enough that we needed a track that gets straight into the shenanigans and it provides this willingly. It’s rapid and feverish and the use of balance once more grabbed my attention. It features a great opening riff that evolves, but then returns and the bass is particularly pressing. The vocals are significantly menacing and the guitars take up this change of mood.

“Quand Vint L’Aurore” rises with a simple sound that slowly shifts and thickens. It’s a shorter track at under 3 minutes, but it uses every second well. It’s quite haunting and conveys a disturbed element cogently. The vocals skulk in the background and are tortured, giving a complex and haunting patina. Just as the foreboding intensifies, the track abruptly ends, amplifying the emotions created exponentially. It is masterful – “When Came the Dawn” indeed.

“The Lurking Fear” opens with machine gun drumming of frightening intensity and intense vocals from the very beginning. It serves as a wonderful counterpoint to the last track. It is rich in vocals and vocal elements and has a different character again. Clever use of volume is employed to bring elements to the surface and the track again inspires a roller coaster ride of emotion.

“The Dying Lust” gets right into the madness with pulsating, staccato guitars, enriched with quick guitar riffs over the top. It’s a complex design that is compelling – is it wrong to love a song with this title?

“World of Tyrants” begins its reign with a fast and feverish sound with some killer bass sections. The vocals take centre stage, then step back to allow the instruments to take charge. The engineering on this track is sensational – at one point the guitar is on one side and stays there for a significant period, with vocals on the other, then the sound is everywhere, but still, the guitar is banging away on one side. It’s fascinating.

Forsaken Crown has produced a work that is different in nature across the album and within tracks. It’s a surprising sound – skipping from simple to complex to basic to unhinged to disturbing to positive and back again. The result is an engaging roller coaster ride.

This is akin to the work of master crafter – each decision of texture, style and level of complexity is to enrich the end result. It is skilful in terms of performance, musicianship and engineering.

But, I might have the odd nightmare or two for a while…

8/10

Review by Greg Noble.

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