Forevermore Album Review - Independent Music Showcase
This ladies and gentlemen is an album to die for especially if you are a fan of the genre. Opener 'Darkest Fantasy' is a storming seven minute epic which is musically superb with powerful soaring vocals. And as if that can't be topped second track off the mark is 'Strike to Defend' and I have to say that this is a guitarists dream and a riffers delight. 'New Era' is very Nightwish which is no bad thing and I don't know what it is about synth and guitar together but it just warms the soul and makes you glad to be alive. 'Chaotic Mind' is another complete belter with stunning guitar work and if it is beautiful you are after then go no further than 'In the Night' which is emotional, complex, stunning and pretty much perfect. My pick of the album has to be 'Curse of the Voiceless' as it has every element within it and we end as we began with title track 'Forevermore' which weighs in at just a smidge over thirteen minutes. Full of great breaks, Celtic influences and spoken vocal its a fitting sign off. The whole thing has be brilliantly put together and very well produced. I look forward to hearing more from this band and seeing them when they hit the road. Class act. 10/10
Forevermore Album Review - Overtone Mag
Control the Storm are a UK based melodic metal band that have been going from strength to strength since winning Reading’s ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ competition to play Bloodstock Open Air in 2012. 2019 has already seen the release of their upbeat new single 'Follow Me' which is taken from their upcoming second album 'Forevermore', the follow-up to their debut album 'Beast Inside' (2015).
Opening the album we have Dark Fantasy, a 7 minute long metal ballad. Starting out with an orchestral score that tonally fits within the build up to a climactic film scene, we are then treated to some pounding drums breaking through the more peaceful score. With guitars and bass added in, the song transforms into something I can only describe as a sound that would fit perfectly as a Final Fantasy Battle theme. This all changes though when we are given one of the many outstanding vocal performances from Control the Storm’s singer Firouzeh.
Track 4/single Follow Me is the next track I want to talk about. I feel like this track can perfectly encapsulate everything Control the Storm is about within the 3 and a half minute runtime. With fantastic guitar work carrying the track alongside some great keyboard work helping catch the attention of listeners, we have a song that is catchy with a chorus that just gets stuck right in your head alongside my favourite vocal performance on the album.
The title track of the album, Forevermore is the final song I would like to talk about here. With the opening minute sounding like a western film score surprisingly lead by bagpipes (for those who don’t know, I have an irrational hatred for bagpipes) quickly turns back into the sound we have come to know across the album. The 13 minute long finale is a journey spanning an insanely wide range of sounds, from almost Western film scores, to Power-Metal ballads, to more Final Fantasy-esc soundscapes and much much more. With genuinely amazing performances from every single member of the band, this is by far my personal favourite track on the release.
All in all, Forevermore is an outstanding album that despite having such a range of sounds and styles across the album never looses sight of what it is at heart, an approachable yet masterful melodic metal powerhouse that I recommend everyone at least gives a shot. I personally do not consider myself a fan of this style of metal in the slightest and still loved every moment I spent listening to this album.
Forevermore Album Review - Musipedia of Metal
Winners of the 2012 Reading Metal To The Masses, Control The Storm is a melodic metal band. Opening their sophomore release is Darkest Fantasy, an impressive seven-minute epic which showcases everything that is good about this band. Powerful double kick drumming, banks of symphonic keys, killer riffs and solos and vocals that soar above in a crystal-clear style. Above all, a melodic style that retains the metal edge with hooks that keep you engaged from the opening bars. Strike To Defend complete with fighter plane sound effects intro is next, a racing power metal beast with duel guitar harmonies and Radeon Mac’s delicious keyboards that are ever present without dominating. Once more the vocals of Firouzeh are superb, reminiscent of one Krissie Kirby at her Triaxis best. New Era changes direction, but in a quite fabulous manner, the feel quite majestic. Heavy riffs underpin the metal credentials whilst the keyboards duel with the vocals for centre stage. This is one epic song, almost soundtrack score in its majesty.
The quality of this release is substantial, and whilst I rarely get excited about the female fronted melodic metal bands, this is something to really enjoy. Follow Me is another sweepingly enticing song, full of rapid pace, excellent harmonies on the choruses including an appropriate couple of death growls which are not out of place. The mood slows for In The Night, a power ballad which allows Firouzeh and Mac showcase their talents. Everything reaches a fantastic climax with the 13-minute title track. A folk style entrance, Celtic drumming, bagpipes and keys are joined by acoustic guitars as the momentum slowly builds before a huge wall of sound crashes in and we accelerate with some crunching guitar work. A feisty first section ends with a calming return to the Celtic feel, the folk flavour very much in evidence once more. The male narrative adds to the feel of the song before the track builds again towards a stunning crescendo. In Forevermore Control the Storm have delivered a superb follow up to 2015’s Beast Inside. This is a beautiful release. 8/10
Forevermore Album Review - Torture Reviews
British power metal sixpiece Control the Storm recently released their sophomore full length Forevermore to little, if any, fanfare. Their debut Beast Within (2015) might have been a blander effort, but on their second the brits mightily show off some great power metal linings that fully deserve some spotlight, because it is a hoot - plain and simple. A few new members have been picked up since the debut as well, where only founding members Raedon Mac and Rich Shillitoe remain from earlier. Perhaps most notably is the recruitment of hitherto mostly unknown Firouzeh Razavi who brings vocal chords like nobody’s business. Opening up with album highlight Darkest Fantasy, the first half of the album is home to the shorter, quick fire power metal rapids while the second half houses some lengthier tracks that delve deeper into the sound and mythos presented. Culminating in the thirteen minute title track, the album goes through the motions as it were, while still feeling suprisingly fresh and inspired.
Control the Storm - Forevermore
Interestingly, said title track - while still being a meaty show of prowess mainly from front woman Razavi - is one of the least interesting tracks on the album. The songwriting is just much tighter during the shorter tracks and every minute feels justified and leading to a climax of the greater whole, whereas the title track brings the padding and filler; it would need a few miutes cut to give it a better flow. There’s plenty of variation throughout the album, with every power metal fan being likely to find something to their liking; be it the bombastic opening number, the short, flashy tracks of the first half or the more musically driving tracks like Chaotic Mind where the fast paced rhythm sections mingle with the driving guitar melodies and never overbearing keyboards.Inspirations are taken from the european school of melodic power metal, not far flung from the sound on Power Quest’s latest offering. Control the Storm crank the flow of epic keyboards up while blasting a heavy rhythm section to boot, and flashy guitar work soaring alongside Razavi’s vocals. The sound is clean and polished, befitting the style; you have the Maiden inspired rhyhtms and twin guitar approach Matt Smith and Rich Shillitoe.
The guitars, rather simply, are phenomenal throughout, with several magnificent solos and fully fleshed out lead parts and flashy hooks. They could do with some more crunch in the mix but they clearly deliver the goods in heaps as Control the Storm deal out fast paced stompers like Strike to Defend or the glorious Follow Me which will hook you in with their flashy choruses sprinkled with Razavi’s great vocal approach, to the deeper cuts like Curse of the Voiceless and Chaotic Mind that give more depth and tangible emotion to the guitar parts.Really, as already stated, the only real complaint with this album is the title track, and even then we’re nitpicking at some of the padding moments; the intro and buildup is great, incorporating some folk elements and atmospheric levels that would have done well spread throughout the album entire. All throughout you can just hear how much fun is being had and it’s coming through in the efforts and the songwriting, and that’s just how this album comes across; a fun love affair made for and by genuine fans of the sound and the style; a genuine surprise of a joyride.
Standout tracks: Darkest Fantasy, Follow Me, Chaotic Mind
Forevermore Album Review - Metal-Temple.com
CONTROL THE STORM is a UK-based Melodic Metal band that’s been in the scene since 2012, after winning Reading’s “Metal to the Masses” competition. This is their second studio album after “Beast Inside”, released in 2015.
“Darkest Fantasy” opens with a slow, orchestral march leading into an old-fashioned symphony orchestra; there’s no hint of electronics or videogame symphonics… yet. As the drums roll up, I’m falling in love with the buildup in this song. While the opener clocks in at over seven minutes, it doesn’t feel like a slog to get through. Even through the solo, the melody changes, slowing down to feel like another buildup and keeping my interest through the seven-minutes.
The vocalist is good. She has a smooth voice that reminds me of Simone Simmons or Floor Jansen. However, on a couple tracks, her upper register sounds strained; it’s barely noticeable, just something that needs a little work to preserve her voice.
“Strike to Defend” is a fast, thrashy and rolls right into the meat of the song. The electronics and staccato lyrics make this more of a standard song, but I prefer the more melodic stylings of the last song. However, I believe this would be a fun song to see live, especially with the intense guitar solo.
“New Era” is anthemic and I love how the choral beginning highlights it. The music slows down for a drum riff, and when the verse starts, the echoing vocals are powerful. The vocals are smooth, and sound great through the song. There’s great technique in the guitar solo and some nice drum rolls are implemented in the final chorus. It’s a great, powerful song.
“Follow Me” starts off with some lighter symphonic elements in the beginning, showcasing a different style that adds variety to the album. I love the melodies and vocal harmonies in the chorus, but there were parts where the chest/head voice change was noticeable. Overall, it was a pumped song and I enjoyed it.
“In the Night” is the album’s slow song. The piano opening is nice, and the vocalist’s upper register is strong at this tempo. I don’t care for the voiceover/sudden cuts from one line to the next in the verses – it feels rushed. The choral elements and increased intensity are good in the second verse. The cuts work better there due to the heavier sound and added instrumentals. I adore the harmonies, as well as the tone change before the guitar solo. While I wish the ending had some more strength, it was a solid ballad.
“Chaotic Mind” is one of my favorite songs on the album for the ambiance alone. I love the mandolin-sounding opening, with the crushing drums like waves, leading into a melody change before the meat of the song. The disconnect in the chorus and the key/pitch change in the solo work wonders in the song. I love the variety in the guitar solo, it lends itself well to the long, instrumental break and shows what the guitarists can do.
“Hidden Wonder” has an intense waltz intro giving way to a sea-shanty melody. Again, I love the harmonies and choral elements, and the time change near the end of the song is an interesting touch.
“Curse of the Voiceless” is harder and start off with more traditionally Metal guitars. I love the melody and how it captures my attention. This is the only song with guttural vocals on it, and they utilize them well in an exchange between soprano and gravel. The speed-up in the second chorus is another nice touch, but the melody change before the refrain can come off as a little disjointed.
“Forevermore” is the 13-minute closing track with some great ambiance and buildup at the beginning. While they don’t get to the vocals for three minutes, the instrumentals make it worth the wait. Like any good Metal song, the melody changes are synonymous with a symphony, creating movements between guitar solos, speed and melody changes and vocal harmonies. The waltz in the middle of the song is beautiful, giving way back to jabbing choruses and then a change to a piano line.
Overall, this album feels as magical as a NIGHTWISH album. Small criticisms aside, it had some wonderful moments that I absolutely adored, and the band has some interesting songwriting tricks up their sleeve that keep listeners engaged throughout. Their biggest strengths are variety and buildup, keeping their longer songs fresh. Two thumbs up from me!
Forevermore Album Review - The Metal Observer
With the end of the month approaching, I found myself (as usual) skimming around for July albums I might have missed a few days ago. My search yielded generally good results, but, just as I was going over my picks for July’s Top Ten Albums, I chanced upon Forevermore, the sophomore album of the female-fronted British power metal outfit, Control the Storm.
And ho. Ly. Fuck. I hardly expected to find something this awesome with the end of the month so close, nevertheless something I had never even heard of before! Control the Storm displays an absolutely deadly amount of power metal skill, individuality, and vision. Between the gorgeous vocal harmonies of Firouzeh Razavi and the fuzzy synth lines that flood the background, my attention was torn from all places at once into a bunch of wonderful places.
Now, that isn’t to say I don’t have a couple issues with this album. And, as usual, I’m gonna get through those first, because I have so much praise for this record that you won’t even remember the bad stuff by the time you go check it out for yourself. My first issue comes in the form of disappointment in the album’s first minutes. ‘Darkest Fantasy’, the opener, begins with a fucking explosion of epic orchestrations, riding riffs, and destructive drumming that promise musical ascension, but all-too-quickly we’re greeted with the weakest melody on the entire album, rather than a kickass verse of glorious, shiny metal destiny. The song picks back up in the chorus, which is super strong, but it’s a shame that the verses are so forgettable. My second (and pretty much only other) issue is also with an uninspired melody, which arrives in verses of ‘Curse of the Voiceless’.
But that’s it. Aside from these, the melodies in Forevermore are absolutely killer. The deliberate vocals of Razavi manage to convey every emotion she shoots for, from aggression to longing, with relative ease and, as I mentioned before, the floating vocal harmonies add a really nice, almost neoclassical touch. The harmonies are especially cool in the Middle Eastern-tinged ‘New Era’, where they take on a more mystical air.
Following suit with the vocals is, honestly, everything else. Axeman Rich Shillitoe is a solo berserker, and Iliyan Vasilev beats the piss out of the drums in the best of ways. Additionally, the colourful orchestrations and keyboards, crafted by Raedon Mac, build immense atmospheres around the already-lively instrumentation without disrupting the band’s balance. And I suppose I can’t leave out the other driving force under the band, Paul O’Shea, who brings some juicy basslines, especially in ‘Hidden Wonder’, where he really shines. All of this raw energy is directed into massive, dynamic arrangements. Oh, and, the song intros are fantastic.
As far as favourites go for me, I have a few. ‘Follow Me’ is basically a cheesy 80s pump up tune, so, by the ultimate laws of the universe, I have to love it (but seriously. that fucking synthwork!). Then there’s the ballad ‘In the Night’, which begins with a beautiful piano/vocal feature before building into an awe-inducing climax. I also really like the closer, ‘Forevermore’. Aside from the cascading crescendo of the outro, it packs nearly as much variety in its thirteen minutes as the entire rest of the album, containing elements like folk, symphonic metal (think Amberian Dawn), and even a blurb of Tchaikovsky thrown in for good measure.
I’m sure I could go on about more favourites for another four paragraphs, but you get the idea. Forevermore is a sick work of metal, and Control the Storm have effortlessly thundered their way into being one of my favourite power metal bands. I’m excited to see what their debut was like, and I’m even more excited to see what they bust out next! 9.5/10
Originally written for PowerThorn.com
Forevermore Album review - GBHBL.com
A super bombastic start tells you plenty about Control the Storm if you’re unaware of just who they are. The symphonic build at the start of Darkest Fantasy is the soundtrack to looking out and seeing dark clouds rolling in. The storm is coming and it threatens to wash everything and everyone away. The drums crack like thunder and the guitars crash down like lightening strikes getting the opener well and truly underway.
Led by a powerful vocal performance, Darkest Fantasy is a thrilling start with an absolutely killer chorus. Top end melodic metal expelled by a supremely confident sounding band.
Two melodic metal bombs follow in Strike to Defend and New Era. The former a full on speed-metal effort and the latter a dream-like trip that powers forward on wheels of hefty riffs. Super-tight and consistently high tempo, the power exuded in the brilliance of Follow Me and its chorus is astonishing.
How do you follow that? By delivering the sombre ballad, In the Night before Chaotic Mind proves to be just as good. A slow start gives way to some outstanding guitar work that speeds everything up. Faster and wilder, it’s a strong showcase of every instrument but the vocals before those do arrive to lift a great track to a bloody great track. It’s so good and makes you feel ten feet tall.
As does Hidden Wonder, a showcase of guitars and drums blended expertly with melody and Curse of the Voiceless, although that one is a little darker and ominous sounding.
Then we get bagpipes in the title track, a 13+ minute epic. What a grand track it is.
Bagpipes! More metal, especially melodic metal needs more bagpipes and Control the Storm absolutely kill it here with them. The beat coming across as a march to battle. When the tempo does pick up, they’re not lost instead picking up in the background on occasion while letting the guitars, drums and vocals do the work. What an absolute beast of a track this is and the flashes of symphonic sounds and effects really add a lot to it overall.
Unsurprisingly, the track has a few shifts throughout, one that sees the vocals get a a little cheeky and gothic. Have we said just how incredible the vocals are throughout Forevermore? Gobsmacking. Then there is the piano melody and male spoken word latter half that builds in fist pumping style to an classy end. 9/10