Forsaken by gods but not by us (almost)

-- Metalsteel --

David Hardy

Album genres:
heavy metal
Album artists:
Benjamin Kic Guitar, Vocal
Daša Trampuš Drums
Matej Sušnik Bass
Rok Tomšic Guitar

Review written by David "Orcish Shredder" Hardy.

Forsaken by gods but not by us! A band from Eastern-Europe, Slovenia to be precise. Although young, they are no beginners, as this is the band's seventh studio album, which they requested us to review a long time ago, but I wanted to check this band out. We're here in pure heavy metal style, which is my cup of tea, I love it, but isn't it because I've been bottle-fed this sound?

On an important note, the album was released two years ago (September 2021 to be exact)! Yes, I know... it's been a while but, who knows why, it's come back to the top of the list of things to listen to, so here I am, reviewing it. Since then, they've released a new album called "Spomenik", which I'm planning to listen to soon, so of course I'll be reviewing it for you!

The eponymous track kicks off the "Forsaken by gods" album... and in fine style, with an instrument from the depths of time that I adore, the didgeridoo. It started well for me, then, the opening is strong Iron Maiden, it's touching my emotional strings, well done guys. It's very motivating, engaging, full of good feelings. But I must admit I could've done without the tribal cries in the middle (houhouhouhaaaa) but come on, let's say it's goes along with the didjeridu featured in the beginning.

Deeper, better what's in?

"Dying out", is a very good second album track, fast, intense, but not stuffy... it's well thought-out enough to continue and specify the album in the prolongation of the first track. You can feel that the work horses are there, that there could be more, but it's with mastery that they slap you on the ass. "For the future" is a bit of a step back for me, not that it's bad, but it doesn't bring me any more information. It's worth noting that either Dasa is an outstanding drummer or that her drums have been triggered a little too much, because the drum beats sound (too) clean for my tastes!

"Drop by drop" is really nice, in the spirit of Slayer and the great thrash metal era, but I would have liked a little more body and roundness at the bottom end of the spectrum, but that's really anecdotal.  I can well imagine the audience singing the simple to remember and very heady "drop by drop." Then again, yes, it's nice, but it's pretty sweet too. Next up is "Death = life" which is good but... so heard and agreed that I didn't look up for a moment. A darker track, but too flashy to be convincing. It feels a bit like a gothic Barbie, it's not credible enough. Mind you, it's all pretend, and in the 90s it might still have passed the mark, but I'm not sure if it's still relevant today. A non-conforming "Testament" style. 

"Becoming human" What can I say, it's close to heroic metal, inspiring and powerful, it features the old-fashioned ending it's very typical power metal and well done overall. The follow-up "Fallen Brother" is my personal flagship track on this "Forsaken by gods" album, slower and more intense in feeling, with everything in place: the folk guitar stroke, the more military drum+kick, the well-felt solos, the guitar doubling, the bass kick vocals... it's simple, even very simple at times, but it's damn well done!  Even the slightly angrier part leading up to the solo in the middle of the track is well felt and picks up the main theme. A real personal delight.

"Into the rivers divine" follows it up and takes the tempo up a notch... not an easy feat, but necessary to keep the mood going. Here, the big riffs and the rougher, more aggressive vocals are out in full force, and in the end, it feels right. Not easy to get through after the beauty that was "Fallen Brother."

You asked for even more power? Featuring double pedal and a drummer who's sweating by the end of the track? Then "The passage of time" makes your wishes come true! You'll find yourself banging your head, even if you don't want to! Remaining indifferent is going to be difficult, and that makes this tune all for the better! The last track, "Farewell", is very pretty, a sweet little instrumental ending... always a pleasure, and almost puts the album in the "fun for the whole family" category.

What to remember?

Well, yes, it's good, in fact, it's a really good time, but is it an unforgettable experience? All I can say is that, as you know, I like to want to hear certain songs again, and if I do, it's because the contract has been fulfilled. For me, that's the case. In addition to the respective qualities of each band member, the heavy metal style is totally acquired and transcribed in these notes. Some will find Metalsteel has a lack of violence or melody. Yes, but that's what heavy metal is all about. Some will also find it a little too old-fashioned ... perhaps, but it's an artistic choice to respect this particular style to the full.

On the other hand, I'd say that the mix is a great success! Everything can be heard, everything is clean and distinct, and it all fits together just the way I like it. At certain moments, a little more of the low end wouldn't have been out of place, but ... aren't we just out of heavy metal?

For an ending

In the end, what are they missing? The question is not easy because when you think about it, they lack nothing at all! Above all, I believe that precisely because they lack nothing, we can compare them to the big names, and there... we can see a difference. For me it is done on points of detail like certain short lengths, a lead voice a little lacking in power or character, but... again, it's because we compare him to names like Bruce Dickinson, Bobby Ellsworth, Udo Dirkschneider or Deyama Topshimitsu... Inevitably, having to line up big names to hold the comparison is, I think, already answering the question: "are they good?"

Ah, a small thing before finishing: I really liked the photo of Dasa on the double bass drum, and seeing her "old-fashioned" leads me to tell you that you could offer her a Ludwig Vistalite so that this is even more complete in the "vintage" ... Personally, I think it would really do!

All in all, Metalsteel's "Forsaken by Gods" is an well-mixed, well-written and well-performed old-school heavy metal release that I can recommend if you want something to go along with the classics of old. They offer nothing particularly new, but what they do, they do very well. Now on to review the sequel!

My top 3 tracks are : 1) Fallen Brother 2) Forsaken by the gods 3) The passage of time

8,2/10 : Even only for the top 3, it worth the buy! the rest is bonus time!