The Forgotten – Chapter I: The Forgotten EP
Release date: 01.12.21
Running Time: 17:32
Review by Dark Juan
Good morning, dear friends. It is I, Dark Juan, and I am awake uncommonly early because I was supposed to have a team meeting at work, but no-one told me that it wasn’t over Teams anymore and I’m fucked if I am driving for over an hour to get to it after it has already started… Hence, I am doing something productive with my time instead of getting pissed off with politicians, furiously masturbating, eating my own body weight in Manchego cheese or pretending that I make any difference whatsoever to the lives of young toughs. I went shopping yesterday, you see, and also bought a bottle of bourbon. At the last Ever-Metal online “team meeting” I attended I drank some bourbon, and my friend and jolly splendid gentleman of the first order Simon “The Review Writing Machine” Black has been spreading the scurrilous and patently untrue lie that I, Dark Juan, libertine and alcohol enthusiast, drank enough to pass out and slide gently and decorously out of camera view. Sideways, according to his report. Obviously this is an actionable fib. I was merely tired after a 96-hour work week.
That’s the gospel truth, Your Honour.
Anyway, today’s platter on the spinning deck of death is by The Forgotten (it is important to note that this band is NOT the San Jose punk band. Oh no. They couldn’t be more diametrically musically opposed if they had actually tried. Yes, I know that was a split infinitive and no, I don’t care. I am finding it extremely difficult to find out any information on the group as any internet searches return results about an electronic music label, or the American punksters, so I am unable to give you any details about the band besides the fact that the blurb that came with the record claims it was written in Los Angeles. Also, the grammar on the press release is that bloody poor I can’t even tell if The Forgotten is a one-person project or a group.
Full disclosure – heavy metal this ain’t. The music is more of a mix of EBM, Aggrotech, Futurepop and Synthwave. There is not a guitar to be found anywhere on this five track EP. The record tells stories about living in space, love, desperation and revolution and it’s a fairly engaging listen. If you like electronic music, that is. A purist of Metal is likely to fucking despise it (and me) because I am enjoying it. I’m not thrilled in the same manner as a Gunship or Carpenter Brut release thrills me, because those two groups understand just how colossal and cinematic Synthwave can be in its purest form, whereas The Forgotten are more…. Disjointed. Massive Synthwave grooves are curtailed and replaced by drum and bass fills or tempos are accelerated and dance music keys substituted and it all feels like the music is aimed at too many targets at once. Many targets are fine if you’re using a Multiple Launch Rocket System. Not so much when you are playing music. It all leads to a kind of crystalline, brittle quality, best displayed on ‘Believe In Me’ which is a fractured, misshapen kind of song.
The opening song, ‘The Forgotten’, has the kind of colossal synth pattern opening that makes Synthwave great, being sweeping and neon-tinged and massively cinematic and not out of place during the opening credits of an 80s action film, or Airwolf, or Knight Rider, or Blue Thunder, or Street Hawk. This supermassive cinematic goodness is interspersed with Futurepop-y squelching and mid-tempo meandering.
‘System Failure’ is more interesting, as it starts with an 8-bit chiptune sound before launching into the kind of massive synth hook that makes Synthwave so incredible, before devolving into a Futurepop beat that beeps and squelches its way around the room before returning to that fucking GLORIOUS hook. Then it changes direction again and becomes this kind of Dungeon Synth/ Futurepop analogue before morphing into a small Industrial component and then changing again into almost a computer game tune…
And therein lies the problem. This record is TOO eclectic. It is an attempt to meld too many disparate genres together, and I fucking hate the drum fills that start off slow and speed up like on dance records. They are lazy and cheap ways to pad out a song and they have been done to death. The Forgotten, I feel, need to choose what style of music they want to play. Do they want to be a Synthwave band? EDM? Futurepop? Choose one, because your musical schizophrenia isn’t doing you any favours, and it is not gaining you a larger audience. It is fragmenting it. Which is a shame, because there’s some massive fucking potential to be utterly jawdroppingly magnificent that is being wasted right now.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards The Forgotten 5/10 for a good, but deeply flawed EP that would benefit from a lot more focus, and less on trying to scattergun fans from across genres.
02. The Forgotten
03. Believe In Me
04. System Failure
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