Umbra contains 30 minutes of melodic death metal, brought to us by the vocalist/guitarist of Bloodshot Dawn, (with some guests as well).
The songs are melodically rich and powered by meaty riffs. This is a very modern production, and some of the leads and solos have that extraterrestrial feel as espoused by bands like The Faceless and Aversions Crown, (although as a whole Forlorn World is a different beast to those bands). The guitars frequently betray a thrash metal influence too, resulting in spiky riffs and jagged rhythms. The main deep growled vocals are very well-performed.
Complemented by intelligent keyboard use and clean singing, the music has a clear epic streak that’s well-realised; it’s the sort of grandeur-without-ostentation approach that I like. Frequently the sharper, heavier aspects of Forlorn World’s sound soften out for these parts, and the heavy aggression is replaced by emotive metal.
When assessing Forlorn World I’m reminded of bands like Scar Symmetry and, to a lesser extent, Soilwork, which is no bad thing at all. In an age when quality melodic death metal is less common than it once was, it’s great to hear an album like Umbra. This is a solid release, so make sure you check it out.