Foscor have been around as a band since 1997 but it was their last album “Those Horrors Wither” (2014) which captured my attention and made my top 10 for that year thanks to its dark and shadowy intrigue.
I was immediately reminded of the atmospheric qualities of Foscor’s music and the great control when listening to the opening track “Instants”. Dark and shadowy, it is heavy but not extreme. Its moodiness reminded me greatly of NahemaH. “Ciutat Tragica” (Tragic City) – Foscor are from Barcelona, so Catalan by origin – is more urgent, with its rapid drum beat, but the sinister edge remains with the echoing, distant vocals. I could imagine the vocalist standing atop a hill and spreading his wings as the instrumentalists create their patterns down below. The song ends with an unsettling piano passage.
The darkly atmospheric feast continues with the depressive “Altars”. Yet peering through the depression are both lofty and expressive guitar passages. Expressive describes Foscor’s music well, I think. This is the world of deep thoughts. There is nothing remotely trivial. The slow and deep rhythm of “Encenalls de Mort” (Slithers of Death) captures a dark scene. Leaving aside the dark and heavy progress, there’s an almost hymnal quality about it. By the end, it seems to have almost reached the level of introspection, as it seemed to drift off into self-reflection at the risk, I thought, of alienating the listener. “Malfianca” (Mistrust), which follows, has a more upbeat tempo, and the guitar work starts to expand again, but although I have a linguistic disadvantage here, it doesn’t strike me as a happy place to be. “Espectres Al Cau” features a dark drum-led atmospheric chorus, and expands into still darker territory. I hesitate to call this album “gothic” but it has such a dark edge that it borders on this genre. Even when the tempo livens up, as it does on “De Marges I Matinadas”, it’s still sinister. Instrumentally it twists and turns in an interesting way. The lingering vocals express a mood of melancholy and sorrow. Anticipation is in the air as the title track starts in post-metal style, but Foscor’s unique delivery comes to the fore as a deeply felt chorus emerges. What follows is typically slow, expansive and powerful. The post-metal captures the all-embracing sadness within the track.
There are ways of expressing dark images, and Foscor manage to do this with regularity and style. Parts of “Les Irreals Visions” have mystical qualities while I found other parts introspective. Nevertheless it is another work of darkly intense moods and creativity from the Catalans.
(7.5/10 Andrew Doherty)