Foreseen - Grave Danger (Review)

In a break of the tradition of the blog, find below my very first review on the blog.
This will be cross-posted on the eternally essential Metal Archives.

Foreseen’s sound is often described as crossover, but I think this is perhaps ever so slightly overstated. It’s true that the band’s bill sharing has been predominately dominated by hardcore bands as well as putting out releases on specialist hardcore labels (such as the brilliant ‘Quality Control’ from the UK). However on ‘Grave Danger’ it’s easy to observe a stronger influence of NWOBHM coming through. This isn’t to say the album is anything like a NWOBHM record, but rather it explores this melodic framework in a rustic, rudimentary and brutal manner similar to the ways ‘Show No Mercy’ or ‘Schizophrenia’ does. Chunkier riffs permeate this record along with some explorations into vocal hooks.

But make no mistake, the Helsinki savagery present from the first record continues in ruthless form. I absolutely love the drumming on this record. I think its part drum sound, part drumming style, but this guy reminds me of Pete Sandoval’s performance on ‘World Downfall’. There is an intensity and energy behind the kit, I can’t necessarily remember any illustrious drum fills but there are very few moments of respite – it’s sharp, fast and relentless throughout. There is also versatility on display, with some cool symbol work in places and even moments of d-beat, but predominately I hear Pete which… is a huge compliment and testament to the fact this guy is a genuine beast behind the kit.

There are several riffs, tempo changes and breakdowns. The mention of breakdowns, particularly in the context of a crossover band, sometimes causes concern but this shit is done correctly - tastefully deployed and with purpose. The few solos are nice but I never personally mind vulgar displays of virtuosity in heavy metal. But the guitars of course follow the theme already established of the rhythm department in never letting up any pace.

Vocals resemble a slightly off kilter bark, harsh and mostly difficult to distinguish until you have the lyric sheet, wherein you notice a tasteful accent to go with it. Good use of crowd shouts too. The lyrical themes explored are mix of modern social justice concerns along with Thrash’s age old anxieties of corporate and international power. The album is under half an hour, but in the context of its ferocity it’s absolutely perfect. Anything more would make it tiresome and potentially result in a less consistent quality throughout. So if you’re looking for an uncompromised, modern Thrash record that never lets up, you’ve probably already wasted enough time on this review..

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