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Forefather > Legends Untold > Reviews > Enigma666
Forefather - Legends Untold

If they weren't amazing this would be a cash-in - 84%

Enigma666, February 19th, 2005

This CD is interesting, in that, while it is nothing more than a bit of a cash in really it is still excellent.
Let me point out, and I learnt this through my own error, there are NO new tracks here, there is very little you haven’t heard before in some, way shape or form, what we have here is a range of demo tracks and leftovers from the deep into time sessions. As you can imagine, the production on cd is poor, compared to Forefathers full-lengths that is.
First of all, I will mention that the artwork on the front of the cd isn’t as good as on their other releases, though I like the “rune based” logo, which I believe they also had on the original “Deep into time” release. Also, this release gets 5% extra just because Athelstan looks so stupid on the back cover, the guy looks prepubescent and I’m not joking.
The CD itself begins with “the Fyrdmen cometh”- and its true, this hasn’t been heard before, but it essences it’s a two-and-a-half minute long instrumental intro, quite simplistic acoustic guitar riffing, but very atmospheric
“Winds of Eternal Freedom”- sound like its unreleased to anyone? Well in a way it is, its “Immortal Wisdom” from Deep Into Time from the demos, they really just changed the chorus- here its “I hear the winds of eternal freedom sing, nature is yet to breathe its last breath”, the production is much rawer this time around, and there is much more emphasis on the guitar sound, reminding me at times of the kind of thing Satyricon would make, the guitar is much more favoured in this mix but the drums sound tinnier and more synthetic (which they are, but they sound much more organic on the albums)
“Visions of Elders” now kicks in, the drums again sounding much more synthetic than usual, also, I believe they changed the riff slightly between this one and the “DIT” version, not much, barely tangible. Also, Wulfenstans clean vocals have improved (or been mixed better) since this was made, the singing is still good, but not AS good as it is on Deep into time.
When I said there were no really unheard tracks, I meant looking back on it today, when it came out, there were three, two versions of “These Lands” (These Lands II featured on the Deep Into Time re-release) and “The Paths of Yesterdays” (later to appear on “The Fighting Man”).
These Lands I, it may surprise people to learn, isn’t the one featured on the Deep Into Time re-release, though they are very similar, with the exception of the fact this one is about 9 seconds shorter and slightly rougher, Wulfenstans vocals also seem weaker, I believe it’s the mix, the drums are incredibly generic, with the same beat over and over again, but as everyone knows, These Lands isn’t renowned for its technicality, its very hard to describe what it sounds like, as it has nothing to do with metal, the riffs are still very good though, and it gets stuck in the head very easily, the verse riff in particular is strong, and the lyrics excellent and quite well song “These lands gave me my flesh blood and bones”, I believe you have to be English to appreciate Forefather fully for the most part, but I could just be been biased, as anyone can enjoy the music and lyrics, but maybe English people feel more recognition with them.
“The Paths of Yesterdays” now emerges from the midst, and it is one of my favourite cuts from the Fighting man, the production almost doesn’t do it justice as the vocals seem to fade out every now and then, the drums are mostly inaudible and the riff remains as majestic as ever. They also appear to have changed the “breakdown” riff in the bridge section of the song, and I have to admit I prefer TFM version, this sounds a bit too erratic, also, the drums seem to take control of the mix after this, I don’t quite understand it, also the drums sound rather bad on this track, like ice-cream tubs been banged together. I’d say this was probably the most beautiful of forefathers songs, its very emotional.
“These Lands II” and we are on familiar ground, slightly under produced, but it has that “ahh-ahh-ahh” vocal thing which makes this version superior to the previous one, it just adds to the catchiness in my opinion, when the first got Deep Into Time I hated this song, now I love it for some reason, it reminds me of punk rock with its simplicity and the riff to a certain degree, but this isn’t punk rock.
“Ancient Voice”- a great song, but I’m not a big fan of this, it’s a full orchestral version, starting off with some massive drum beats as the violins seep in and what may or may not be flutes. I’ll admit this stays true to the structure and length of the original, but I much prefer the original, the trumpets appear in this almost fan-fare like supported by the string instruments. Its very atmospheric, epic in fact, it seems to resonate beauty.
In conclusion, certainly something only for people who are already fans of Forefather, everyone else, buy either “Ours is the Kingdom” or “The Fighting man” both are excellent starting points, though every album is a masterpiece