After the Fall
Style: Doom Metal
Release date: April 3rd 2009

Lucifer has been very busy of late. After having been banished from Heaven, he’s determined to drag as many human souls with him as possible into eternal damnation. Cain’s fratricide, Hiroshima, Vladivostock…..these and other atrocities are all part of his diabolical plan. No, I’m not discussing Dante’s “La Divina Commedia” or Milton’s “Paradise Lost” (despite the latter being a point of reference) but nevertheless I’m enthralled by an oeuvre of epic proportions. It’s called “After The Fall” and is the new hotly anticipated album from Doom Metal stalwarts Forsaken.

This is only the band’s 4th full-length in their 17-year career and by now Forsaken have crafted their own brand of Doom – one that is epic, crushing, imaginative and technically sophisticated. In all honesty I was half-expecting a faux-pas from these Maltese – after all, for how long can they possibly continue to produce a string of superlative releases? The answer to this ‘dilemma’ partially emerges when comparing the band’s discography - all Forsaken’s releases can boast their own identity despite them all embracing the traditional aesthetics of Doom.

“After The Fall” is an accomplishment of massive intensity – think of it as the Doom Metal equivalent of overproof alcohol. Charismatic vocalist/founding member Leo Stivala (also vocals of Reflection) has taken a big leap ahead in the quality of his singing – ‘The Lord Sayeth’ provides irrefutable evidence of this. Sean Vukovic cements his reputation as the shredder of Doom. One listen of ‘Vanguards Of The Void’ or ‘Metatron…’ and his guitar-playing skills will have surely won you over. The songwriting of “After The Fall” is superlative and each listen will have you uncovering new facets to the songs. In this context ‘The Sage’ gets my vote as album highlight. On the other hand, ‘Armida’s Kiss’ is one number I’m particularly anxious to experience in a live setting.

Compared to previous Forsaken releases, “After The Fall” seems to possess a great deal of anger. Bassist Albert Bell (also of Nomad Son) has evidently done extensive research when penning the album’s lyrics. Biblical quotes abound as do numerous references to a pantheon of cross-cultural personae that only augment the album’s impact. This is in fact an album that demands the listener’s undivided attention and not something you’d want to listen to while, say, driving to work. “Bound to a cadaverous conscience / Eidolons cast to the otherworld / Chastising the wisdom of the ageless sage / Star fires doused by the mesmerising haze” This excerpt from ‘Vanguards Of The Void’ offers an insight as to the drama that awaits the listener.

Anyone who hasn’t yet heard this band might not comprehend all this rhetoric – those are the ones who, more than anyone else, really need to get hold of this album…now…and appreciate for themselves why “After The Fall” is a milestone of Doom.
01. Tenebrarum
02. Aidenn Falls
03. Sins of the Tempter
04. The Lord Sayeth
05. Vanguards of the Void
06. Armida's Kiss
07. The Sage
08. Dies Irae (Day of Wrath)
09. Metatron and The Mibot Mythos
Label: I Hate Records
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: June 2nd 2009