Review: Last Wail “Forgotten” [Stygian Crypt productions]

Review: Last Wail “Forgotten” [Stygian Crypt productions]

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Forgotten by Last Wail feels like a mix of other albums I have reviewed. It sounds like a mix of power, thrash and death metal. You can even hear of bit of a folk metal influence, with the flutes and fiddles occasionally heard over the guitars. There are growled vocals over catchy and melodic riffs. The lyrics seem to be about fantasy, adventures and folk magic, but also about edgier and more brutal stuff.

It’s not that this mix doesn’t work. There are times where this mix creates something really fun or interesting, like in “Kill Them All”, with its fast riff and aggressive but catchy power metal style, and its unfortunate lack of Metallica references. Or in “Woodcutter”, the most remarkable track on the album. This one has some of the best crafted and catchiest riffs on the album, both melody and aggression, some nice flute playing, and a tune that sometimes feels like a folk dance.

I often use the words “catchy” and “melodic” to describe this album. That’s a pretty fitting description, really, because there are noticeable hooks here, the songs have nice melodies and flow together easily. It can easily be listened to in one sitting, and it’s fun to listen to. But that’s a double-edged sword.

Because this album is so easy to sit through, it goes a little in one ear, out the other, because the other songs are not quite as memorable as “Woodcutter” and “Kill Them All”. I can’t find a lot to say about them, besides that they have nice melodies, and I like the flute parts in “The Enemy” and the wild intro to “Three Axes”. Other than that… The songs aren’t really easy to tell apart, or to remember. You’ll listen to them all the way through, then you’ll forget them.

The other songs are not bad exactly, but they are in that dead zone where they’re not bad enough to be unpleasant and therefore memorable, but they’re not quite interesting enough to be really good or memorable. They are well-made but somewhat unremarkable folky power/death metal songs. It’s not painful to listen to, but as I implied in my introduction, I feel like I’ve heard this already.

Obviously, now that everything has been done, it’s harder to be original, and considering that, if a band manages to have its own style, they’re good enough. Sure, Last Wail’s mix of folk, power and death metal is somewhat distinctive, but while it gives them an identity of their own, it also makes them sound like a more generic mix of everyone else in those genres. Even the vocals are generic, with their growls that sound like everyone else and their not particularly good occasional bits of clean vocals. The songs are nice enough in the beginning of the album, but then all interest is lost, until the 12th song, which picks up the pace somewhat but then is followed by a just as generic last song.

Everything they do seems to have been already been done, and done better, by thousands of other acts.

And this is why, even though this album is very listenable, it’s not something that you will really remember. I didn’t hate this, but I’m not sure I really love any song on it, except maybe “Woodcutter”. That’s why that one, and maybe “Kill Them All”, “The Enemy” and “Three Axes” are the only songs I’d really recommend. The rest is at best something nice but forgettable to listen to when you have nothing better to do.

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