Foretoken – Ruin (Review)

Foretoken - RuinThis is the debut album from US black/death metal band Foretoken.

So, you fancy a good-sized chunk of Scandinavian death metal? That’s no problem, take your pick. What’s that? You also want a decent black metal influence to be felt? That’s easily done. Now you want a take on the style that’s highly melodic too? Sure, we can do that. Oh, you want added orchestration and symphonic elements on top of this? Well in that case, look no further than the perfect-for-you Ruin by Foretoken. Mix together bands such as Wintersun, Children of Bodom, Skyfire, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Old Man’s Child, and you’ll have an idea of the tasty treats that Foretoken unleash on Ruin.

This is an album that positively bursts out of the speakers with seemingly boundless energy, displaying an obvious grasp of how to blend melodic black/death metal with orchestration to produce music that is instantly captivating. Powered by the impeccably played drumming of Hannes Grossman, (Hate Eternal, Howling Sycamore, etc.), Ruin is a very impressive release through and through.

The band’s chosen form of extreme metal is a multifaceted beast. As well as the aforementioned styles and influences, we also get treated to elements of folk, progressive, and technical metal too, all of which add extra flavour to music that pulses with vitality and cinematic grandeur. It definitely has an old-school core, (listening to this really, really reminds me of the late 90s), but isn’t exclusively limited to this.

There’s plenty of hooks here to entrap the listener, and enough quality to keep them willingly ensnared. The songs are largely blisteringly fast, but the songwriting is strong enough and has enough variety to keep things interesting and engaging. Foretoken aren’t afraid to spread their creative wings, as the length of some of these tracks attests too. Even the relatively shorter tracks pack a lot of meaty content into their runtime, however; the band can never be accused of being lazy, that’s for sure.

Ruin is a very strong album from a band that clearly know what they’re doing. I highly recommend that you check out what Foretoken have to offer if you’re a fan of this sort of extreme metal.

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