|Review: The Forsaken - Manifest of Hate|
|Manifest of Hate|
Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2001
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: January 16, 2020
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
for:Manifest of Hate
Rated 4/5 (80%) (1 Vote)
The Forsaken are one of those Melodic Death Metal bands that came in right as the oversaturation in the genre was getting noticeable but not enough to where every Melodeath band was immediately disregarded. They made a bit of a splash with this, their debut album, and even two decades later, it's easy to see why.
The Forsaken have always worked that vein of thrashy Melodeath that At the Gates popularized and a bajillion imitators mined for all it was worth and beyond, only with a degree of technicality and aggression most of those bands desperately tried and failed to achieve. With the exception of the rather silly orchestral instrumental of the title track, every song on here is filled with razor-sharp riffing, excellent melodic leads with shading beyond what most bands at the time bothered with, and vocals that are a squealy and rather one-note, but generally inoffensive. The problem is that there isn't a terrible amount of variety going on in the songwriting. Sure, they're all tight and deceptively complex, but they never really break out of the same formula, and even the better songs like "Soulshade" and "Incinerate" can be a little hard to distinguish among the other tracks. Basically, every song on here is well above average and distinctly from this band, but you'd be hard-pressed to tell me which song it is.
They would go on to release a couple of other albums before going silent for nearly a decade and releasing the excellent Beyond Redemption before once again going silent for nearly a decade. They're still listed as active and appear to be working on new material, but it remains to be seen if anything becomes of that. For now, I can say that while it can sound a bit too samey for its own good, Manifest of Hate still stands as a solid example of how to make Melodic Death Metal without sacrificing aggression or intricacy for the sake of melody. Recommended.
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