In late 2020, Foretoken warned the entire world of one thing: the Virginia Beach-based duo is on a mission to completely shake up the status quo. Three years later, Triumphs (Prosthetic Records) is proof positive the mission is so far a smashing success.
The sophomoric full-length finds Steve Redmond (guitars, orchestrations) and Dan Cooley (vocals, lyrics) collectively composing nine songs of symphonic and melodic masterstrokes. The two work in tandem in a way that feels like it’s been a lifetime in the making. Prog and Tech-Death legend Hannes Grossman (Triptykon, Alkaloid, Blotted Science) provided drums on the recording.
As evidenced by the epic artwork depicting Spartan warriors surveying a land blanketed by corpses, Foretoken set out on an odyssey that is, in a word, triumphant, one that will either have everyone bowing to their will or lying dead with the rest of the non-believers.
Not only is there a striking balance of atmospherics and shredding; the finished product sounds like it would certainly require more than two artists to achieve.
‘Demon Queller’ begs to be stuck in your head, though admittedly, it doesn’t have to beg very hard. The riffing is ripping, ferocious. It’s the exact energy one yearns for in metal.
Every good odyssey requires fear and danger (‘The Wraith That Weeps’) interposed with a straight-up thriller (‘The Labors’).
The listenability of Triumphs is outstanding. Every note contains inspired passion, while the pairing continuously engages and invigorates. Even with a slower-tempo thick riff, ‘Serpent King’s Venom’ goes for a gallop towards the end. And ‘His Riastrad’ is raucous.
For just over fifty minutes, Foretoken regales listeners with heroic tales and electric music. And it’s not like they didn’t warn everyone ahead of time. In fact, the aforementioned ‘Serpent King’s Venom’ eloquently states “This world will be mine / and everyone will bow.”
Buy the album here:
9 / 10