When I reviewed the Scars EP by Forever Still, I hailed it as one of the most exciting new releases in the last 12 months. I’ve been waiting patiently to see the fruition of their debut full length album Tied Down, a collection that holds so much expectation.
Tied Down kicks off with the blistering ‘Scars’. This was the song that turned my attention towards Forever Still and their potential. The powerful impact of Maja Schønning’s voice is ferocious; from painfully melodic emotion to acerbic brutality, she has an astounding range that more than equals the best in the business. Added to that is the passion of the guitar work from Dennis Post, which brings punching energy. All the songs from Scars provide the opening trilogy for Tied Down. The pulsating ‘Once Upon A Nightmare’ contrasts with the piano driven, ‘Miss Madness’. The latter is a beautiful song that captures the attention and reminds me of Delain. Post’s fantastic closing notes over the final words soar and impress as they are released from the strings.
‘Awake The Fire’ was released as a single in the second half of 2015. It’s a right stomper of a tune, destined to get the crowd pumped at shows. Definitely the most up tempo song on the album, it gets the head banging with every listen. A special mention to the propulsive drums and the frenetic guitar pieces. ‘Breathe In’ carries on the album’s momentum. Schønning really delivers (again) but where her clean vocal is compelling and melody is key, her bestial growl towards the end is from the very depths of Hell. ‘Save Me’ is a gentle, almost upbeat ballad. The lyrics are heartfelt, “you live inside of me but nothing is the same,” and it offers respite before the twin salvo of ‘Your Light’ and ‘Alone’. The album closes with title track, Tied Down. The crunching opening riff lays the platform for the most epic song on the album.
The hardest thing for metal bands with female singers is that they are immediately compared to others in the genre. Maja Schønning is a star in her own right and deserves as much attention as the finest of her ilk. Tied Down is an album full of heartbreak, anguish and positivity for the future; at times it can be formulaic but there is enough originality to rise above mediocrity. The production is full and vibrant and portrays the power and beauty of Forever Still.
Tied Down is a powerful debut from a band that has the focus, drive and talent to make their dream reality. Forever Still have delivered on their potential and look set to take 2016 by storm.
Maja Schønning (vocals)
Mikkel Haastrup (bass, keys)
Dennis Post (guitars)
Brion Wekin – Drums
2. Once Upon A Nightmare
3. Miss Madness
4. Awake The Fire
5. Breathe In
6. Save Me
7. Your Light
9. Break The Glass
10. Tied Down
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