Come the apocalypse, the only things that’ll survive are cockroaches and third-rate metalcore bands. That certainly seems to be the case given the number of them still around, particularly when the branch of the genre they idolise so much is practically on life support right now. It’s totally baffling what these bands think they’ll achieve with this; they’re hardly going to cause some huge resurgence in the genre by unwaveringly sticking to tropes that are almost half a decade out of date. It’s not even as if any of them throw in one defining feature to stand out, because it’s so much easier to just fall in line and follow the crowd. And that’s pretty much Forbidden Seasons in a nutshell – early 2010s metalcore to a fault without so much of a care about how dated, boring and derivative new album Promise sounds.
The review could pretty much end there given that that’s the entire album boiled down to one line of description, but even more so because everyone has heard this before. Atlantis kicks things off with the usual concoction of crashing breakdowns, atmospheric synths that blanket the whole thing in innumerable layers of gloss and a switch from heft to melodic hooks that turns on a sixpence, with the rest of the album following with variations so slight you’ll struggle to even notice them. Even if the closing title track is the sole exception as the soaring, cleanly-sung swan song interspersed with vocal snippets, that’s still something that’s been done so many times before, and far better than it is here. It’s actually flooring how little imagination Forbidden Seasons have, unable to craft a sound that has even the remotest sense of individuality, and even less capable of making that actually stick.
To the band’s credit, vocalist Mark Seasons can scream with a decent bit of power, even if it’s not that distinguishable for most other artists in the same vein, but that (alongside the wishy-washy cleans that have frequently been the butt of many a joke surrounding these kinds of bands) only exemplifies how little Forbidden Seasons actually do to get them anywhere. It’s genuinely difficult to think of anything new to say about them that hasn’t been attributed to scores of other bands, or just even anything to say at all. If Promise was a relic of the early 2010s that never got a shot, it could at least be looked upon somewhat favourably as a product of its time; the fact that it’s a new album from a new band actually looking to make a name for themselves is frankly inexcusable. If this is some sort of attempt to reanimate metalcore’s corpse, Promise hasn’t even warmed it through properly.
For fans of: Asking Alexandria, blessthefall, A Skylit Drive
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Promise’ by Forbidden Seasons is released on 16th March on This Is Core Records.