Forever Still have flourished since they burst out of the blocks in 2013, and this Danish animal has established a solid and robust fan base within their genre, partly to their unwavering touring commitments and prestigious support slots with behemoths such as Children Of Bodom and Lacuna Coil.
‘Breathe In Colours’ is the latest offering and opens the proceedings with ‘Rewind’, which delivers a massive smack to the senses with a heavy dose of symphonic, grandiose gothic embraces. Schonnings’ vocals are entrancing and powerful and she is backed up with the accomplished and colossal bass line of Haastrup.
The album continues with a good mix and range of more delicate and intricate ballads along with the power and anarchy of catchy hooks and choruses, especially showcased on ‘Fight’ and ‘Pieces’, which are both powerhouses in their own rights.
‘Is It Gone’ demonstrates the raw vocal talents of Schonning once again, leaving her as an initial standalone article before the rest of the band back her up, yet still keeping it delicate. The band plays tug of war with the vocalist within the track, blending in and out effortlessly whilst leaving her in the spotlight throughout.
‘Survive’ is a unique entity on the album, the vocals and music is angry and vitriolic and portrays rage and angst at their most formidable. This does detract a little from the talents that they otherwise show within the rest of the album. This track, for me, is probably the low point on the album, but at least they have a platform to springboard off again.
‘Do Your Worst’ and ‘Rising Over You’ could almost be twins in their approach and deliverance of the music and the impact they have. Both see the band create a colossal back drop for Schonnings’ vocals and Stockmarr creates an absolute tyrant on the drum kit. Both have a more than generous sound which cements the Lacuna Coil influence, close your eyes and you could be mistaken for thinking you are listening to some of the Italians latter works.
‘Say Your Goodbyes’ uses duelling forces of a gentle, fragile piano based melody and rabid colourful choruses. This one is an absolute beautiful creature, draped in white satin and keeping the beauty alive throughout the brawn and intensity of the inlays of electric shots, which drift in and out throughout.
‘Embrace The Tide’ closes the event with the tried and tested rocky, punchy and catchy choruses and delicacy which has been shown throughout, it’s almost as if they have taken everything they have learnt from the previous tracks and poured them into this effort.
On the whole, this is a robust and comprehensive lesson in bipolar modern technical and catchy melodies, whilst injecting beauty and intricacy throughout. This will happily stand alongside the juggernauts of the genre, Lacuna Coil and In This Moment, yet they do manage to hold onto some individuality in this often saturated sub-genre.
(8/10 Phil Pountney)