The Forsaken - _Traces of the Past_
(Century Media, 2003)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8.5 out of 10)
The Forsaken's debut _Manifest of Hate_ propelled them into vertiginous heights in my expectations; after an unusually high number of listens spanning several months, I ranked them as perhaps -the- most exciting prospect in Swedish death metal. Along came their second album _Arts of Desolation_, and I found myself mildly disappointed by the band's turn toward American influences. Although a very competent album, _Arts of Desolation_ fell short of the staying power and enjoyability possessed by its predecessor. This takes us to the Swedes' latest effort, _Traces of the Past_, an album I obviously met with mixed expectations. In most ways, it has turned out for the better: there's less American riffing, more enthusiasm in their vibrant form of technically sharp, energetic death metal, and overall _Traces of the Past_ is closer to the level of accomplishment found in _Manifest of Hate_. On the other hand, however, the sheer catchiness of _Manifest of Hate_ is yet to be reproduced by the band -- although this one is even more impressive as far as the technicality of its guitar work is concerned. I still have a bit of a gripe with the vocalist's phrasing of the lyrics, but his work is otherwise very adequate. Ultimately, _Traces of the Past_ is more accomplished than its predecessor, but only just enough to stay with an 8.5 (they would have received a lower rating had they stagnated). The Forsaken have nonetheless reaffirmed their place as one of Sweden's premier death metal acts today; whether they will ever be able to find that ellusive extra inspiration to create their own _Slaughter of the Soul_ remains to be seen.


(article published 29/2/2004)

8/12/2001 P Azevedo The Forsaken: Forsaken But Not Forgotten
9/1/2002 P Azevedo 8.5 The Forsaken - Arts of Desolation
3/13/2001 A Bromley 9 The Forsaken - Manifest of Hate
5/13/2001 D Rocher Nile / The Haunted / Carnal Forge / The Forsaken At the Haunted Gates of Vengeance
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