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The band idea takes its origins away back in 1997, when the guitar player Alessandro Pace, former member of avant-garde rock group Klimt 1918, thought of creating different music. Sadly, The Foreshadowing was formed only in 2005, when Alessandro found perfect band members for all of the instruments. Honestly, i didn't expect much from this album. Italian gothic based metal usually is full of Über-Mega-Cheesy moments. Macbeth, Mandragora Scream, Lacuna Coil or Theatres des Vampires could be considered "masters"...
This album contains none! It's also very solid, all tracks "touch" you emotionally and the riffs are rarely repeated, so getting bored while listening isn't possible. There are many powerful moments in the songs that give you feelings of melancholy that only expressive music like Anathema's "Angelica", "Far Away" or "Fragile Dreams" can create. You are probably guessing the album is gothic metal, but the almost omnipresent irksome-doomy guitar work and almost omnipresent depressing keyboard makes it gothic-doom metal. The emotional "Anathema" moments are usually obtained when the lead guitar becomes more melodic and the keyboard gets more intense, but it's important to say that nothing would be possible without Marco Benevento's incredibly soothing baritone (the only type of vocals on DoN). Such flavors are frequent ("Cold Waste", "The Wandering", "The Fall", "Days of Nothing"). The song "Last Minute Train" has a ballad-like structure. The drumming is decent but non-spectacular as in any album that lacks much dynamism. I have listened to this album for many times and the only catchy song is the more upbeat "The Departure". The only song that doesn't follow the same gothic-doom metal pattern with stylistic differences is "Into the Lips of the Earth", which is a minimalist ambient.
Lyrically, the album deals with an imaginary apocalypse, the "opera" of an insane man that is fed up with the world. Some monologue can be found in "Ladykiller" and "Last Minute Train". The album cover is well realized and it's related to the theme (man in despair, apocalyptic red sky, ravens). To get the best album experience, you must listen to it from start to finish and follow the lyrics. Everything is good, but there are no standout songs.
"The Foreshadowing aim is to bring you into an atom-sphere of apocalyptic tragedy and alienation from humanity and everyday life with a moody and powerful music."
That's a quote from one of their official internet pages and i think they transposed their ideas really well into this album. "Days of Nothing" is with nothing inferior to works of more well-known bands such as My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Moonspell or Anathema. I really hope the second album won't disappoint my now big expectations.
The Foreshadowing's debut album "Days of Nothing" is truly something remarkable. As a big fan of Katatonia, My Dying Bride, and Anathema's early works, music treading in the waters of the darker side of human existence is nothing new to me. But not since My Dying Bride's "The Angel and the Dark River" have I found an album so sincere in it's grief and so stubborn in it's melancholy that listening to the whole thing in one sitting may just be an emotional experience in itself. Bold words, but trust me when I say that after listening to even a few songs, you're going to leave just a little bit empty.
It only takes the six minute opener "Cold Waste" to hear that this album is going in the right direction, and it gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect for the rest of the journey. Subtle, yet effective guitar melodies, omnipresent, yet never dominating keys, and restrained, yet not unimportant drums and bass. This coupled with one of the best vocal preformences I've heard in recent months makes the entire album worthwhile. Seriously, Marco Benevento's baritone crooning needs to be beheld to be believed. Wheather it's the opening line to "Departure", the mid-section of the beautiful "Death is Our Freedom" (back up vocalist Francesco Sosto's harmonizing also makes this song a treat), or the memorable chorus of the title track, Marco has certainly held up his end of this dismal deal.
"Days of Nothing" also has a few twists added into the mix. The surprisingly heavy "Eschaton" may just be the black sheep of the album, but that doesn't mean it isn't a note worthy song. Also, "Last Minute Train" features some strange and incredibly pessimistic samples around the three minute mark. The closer "Into the Lips of the Earth" is a completely ambient ordeal, with only vocals and the lonely sounds of space to be heard. The lyrics are also well done, albeit there are a few head scratchers. Overall this album is an amazing accomplishment for just a debut album. I have high hopes for these guys, and maybe in a decade or so (God willing they're still around) I can look back on this album, and maybe give "classic status". Absolutely essential for goth/doom fans.
"Death is our freedom
Makes us equal men,
Regardless of our place of birth
Regadless of our plans and deals
She'll never break her promises"
Doom with an emphasis on the dismal side of existence is nothing new. Since its inception, doom has periodically and continuously tried to take the idea of agony and loss to new heights, but the ratio of revolution to repetition is more depressing than the music could ever be.
The Foreshadowing's debut treads these worn paths, but seldom has melancholy been so appealing or so accessible without the cheapening of its sincerity and depth. "Days of Nothing" is a genuine release with real emotional weight, but I wouldn't call it a "grower". One listen is all it took to recognize the thick atmosphere of tragedy and perdition, and that's all right. Whatever "Days of Nothing" may lack in intricacy doesn't affect its satisfying rainy day consolation.
It doesn't hurt that "Days of Nothing" is a varied experience. From the opening chords of "Cold Waste" to the somber half-ballad "Departure" to the album's departure with the ambient/vocal "Into the Lips of the Earth", there's enough contrast to keep things on an interesting level. Riffs rarely repeat themselves, vocal hooks are unique and not easily forgotten, drum work is suiting at all times and never gets ahead of itself or lags behind; hell, even the lyrics are interesting. Coupled with Marco Benevento's flawless delivery, this is one the album's unequivocal highlights.
"Days of Nothing" has professional written all over it, and it's only a debut album. Watch The Foreshadowing with keen eyes, especially if you can't get enough of early My Dying Bride or early Anathema and don't mind exclusively clean vocals. It's not quite up to the level of "The Silent Enigma" or "Angel and the Dark River", but it's one of the best in recent years.