Forever Still – “Breathe In Colours” (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
Every now and then an ‘alt’ metal band comes along that really knocks the socks off you – and in this case it might be Forever Still from Denmark. While not a great producer of metal bands at least in terms of volume, this tiny European country does have its names in King Diamond as well as being home to the internationally acclaimed Roskilde Festival. It’s to this legacy that Forever Still add their weight, blending in emo, goth and nu metal into this brilliant sophomore. Formed in 2010 by front woman Maja Shining and multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Haastrup, who by all accounts have driven the band in every aspect, there is an added ace in co composer Flemming Rasmussen, who of course is forever famed for his work with Metallica, especially during their formative years. Whether to a great or lesser degree, the impact on the material is obvious, being catchy, energetic and certainly heavy in places while equally contrasted by plenty of emotion, an atmospheric use of ambience and an unashamed feminine touch not just overtly in the vocals, but more subtly in the tender, heartfelt melodies. As such, the 10 tracks on “Breathe In Colours” are very classy indeed, and they all hit the mark, be it through a gentle caress or like a freight train smashing through you. Take ‘Fight’ which speaks for itself: massive roaring grooves and pounding drums matching the power screams of Shining yet also laced with her catchy harmonies and passionate wails, not forgetting Haastrup’s hooking guitar and keyboard melodies. On the slower ‘Rejoin’ it’s precisely those gothy synths that collaborate with her enticing soul to elevate the spirit on the uplifting chorus, although not without some powering guitar and bass way back in the mix kicking up a heavy back end. With Shining living up to her name on the ballad ‘Is It Gone’, the instruments take a back seat to her heartbreaking vocals, only coming in during the deep chorus to add even more weight to the overpowering emotion – so try not to shed a tear on this one folks. Stirring it up again and upping the tempo on ‘Survive’ with its fast snare work, buzzsaw guitar, contrasting sultry tones and screams all culminating in the addictive ambient glory of the chorus offset by headbanging passages, you’ll know by the end of this impressive album that Forever Still aren’t anything that their name suggests.