FORGOTTEN SUNRISE first came to life some time in 1992, but “Willand” is only their second release. They went through the typical story of line-up changes, poor record deals and inactivity and finally released their first album “Ru:mipu:dus” in 2003, and four years later, FORGOTTEN SUNRISE releases “Willand”.
Somewhere in between 1992 and 2003, FORGOTTEN SUNRISE went from being a Death Metal band to a strange mix of Death Metal, Black Metal, Synth-pop, Trip Hop, Industrial, Techno and Darkwave. Hypnotic, trippy, psychedelic, schizophrenic, strange, disturbing and haunting are all accurate adjectives that can be used to describe this strange concoction that FORGOTTEN SUNRISE has created. The best part is that all this melting pot of styles works like a charm and despite the very dark nature of the melodies, it sounds insanely catchy. Pop music catchy. This has been stuck in my head ever since I got it. It’s often heavy as well, which is surprising considering the guitars aren’t the most common instrument used on “Willand”.
The album starts off with some atmospheric keyboard section, then the synthetic drums kick in and the melody turns into something that sounds very influenced by a bleak science fiction thriller. This segues into the next song, which begins with a movie (I think) sample about someone who administers euthanasia, and then the song starts off. It’s a mix between Death Metal and Darkwave. Better put, it sounds like someone wrote a Death Metal song, and then decided to play the riffs using keyboards and samplers, and have the drumming be Techno-ish. The vocals in this song is pure Death Metal, low and guttural, which is also a nice touch, mainly because most Industrial bands I’ve heard use distorted vocals which lie in the mid-range.
I will not go to write a track by track description and come up with some ridiculous comparisons, mainly because that wouldn’t do the album justice, but “Willand” goes through all territories of music: Happy, calm, melancholic, heavy, tribal, hateful, experimental, cold, disturbing, it’s all here. It’s a trip of an album.
Although “Willand” is an amazing release that breaks down barriers between genres and defies some musical aesthetics in the process, it will put off any listener that doesn’t like a prevalent Techno influence in the music. Just a word of warning: Approach this with an open mind, as it is something totally out from left field and chances are you haven’t heard a band similar to FORGOTTEN SUNRISE. If you have, please kindly tell me about them.
One of this year’s best releases, bar none.
(Online July 9, 2007)