Written by William Dibble
The genre of technical metalcore is booming. Within the last five to ten years, numerous new bands have hit the scene, each bringing a bit of a different take on the genre. Forthteller’s EP, Nihilist, released on July 7th of this year. Relatively new to the scene, they brought out an album full of meaning and musical brutality. Nihilist is only five tracks long, coming in at just around eighteen minutes, but is absolutely crushing.
“Of Nothing” starts off with soft keyboards and drums, but descends into heavy riffs and drum beats within a minute. The song is in keeping with the album’s theme. Nihilist explores the concepts of purpose and our search of it. The music uses a contrast of hard and soft sequences to emphasize this, and the listener can easily picture a person in pain looking for that purpose. The next track, “Empire”, picks up literally as the last lyrics of “Of Nothing” end. The song will have you wanting to throw fists and mosh. The drums and vocals stand out spectacularly, managing to stand out against complex guitar work while also leaving room for the guitars to wow you. There are interesting sequences in both songs where the syncopation of the lyrics produces unexpected combinations. “Empire” finishes with an echo-laden guitar sequence that leads right into “Evolve”.
“Evolve” signals a shift in the album’s sound, for a few moments. It brings an ambient sound, with water drops, and clean guitars, to its intro. These contrast sharply with a mixture of screamed and yelled spoken word from Forthteller’s singer. It doesn’t take long before these become outright lyrics as the song resumes the blistering pace of the prior songs. The powerful riffs of this track bring to mind images of guitarists swinging their instruments on stage, with someone in the band screaming out at the crowd. The song closes with an ambient outro that is not dissimilar to the song’s beginning, before catapulting the listener into “Tiresias”. This brutal track is deceptively complex. “Tiresias” is a pair of sonnets dedicated to examining society’s concepts of love, lust, and consumption, in the context of modern nihilism. The song ends with a chant, before the album concludes with “The Crux”. Like the four other tracks, this one has a distinctly separate rhythm and construction. Forthteller has certainly created a unique and persistent sound while writing distinctive songs.
Work like this stands out from what some would call artistic nihilism, or artwork created for the sole purpose of making money. Nihilism is imbued with purpose by Forthteller, and it shows that purpose up front, confronting what they believe is a lack of direction amongst humans. The songs are musically and lyrically complex, but in a way that makes them all the more enjoyable. The mastering is very well put together, and in places, one even feels like they’re in the same room as the band. The songs will definitely resonate with audiences, and it is easy to tell where the crowd will go insane throughout.
Nihilist is available now from multiple musical outlets. Grab it from iTunes, Google Play, and other services today!