Already the third album of FORGIVE-ME-NOT is spinning in my player, titled "Perfect Innocence". I know that I have not yet reviewed their first two efforts "Tearfall" and "Space Apple", but trust me, these guys are good.
I know these guys for many years now (basically since 1998) and they have really evolved within their chosen style, refining it ever since their beginning, maturing in songwriting and arrangements, well, simply getting better with each album they have put out so far. It is a sort of Melodic Metal, but definitely not what you usually get from this style, rather it has some certain Gothic undertones and also does not follow the beaten path of this particular sub genre.
Actually "Perfect Innocence" is another of those albums, which you listen to, you know that you like it, but when you have to bring to (electronic) paper, what it is that makes you like it and to really describe it, you are somewhat at a loss. And every time this happens, it is almost a shame, because I cannot find the words that I would like/need to use to make you able to see for yourself, why it could or could not be something for you as well.
The atmosphere definitely differs from the usual Melodic Metal, for it is quite a bit darker and has this almost Finnish Gothic touch in the guitars and melody lines, but as singer Viktor Kukoverov's voice is not as deep as the Finns' (and it is pretty original as well), you cannot throw FORGIVE-ME-NOT into the same pot as them. Songs like "Our Separate Ways" or even more so "Skygirl" are immensely catchy, but with enough substance to make them last, meaning that they do not burn all their fuel in the immediate catchiness, but also providing some longer lasting enjoyment.
Also because this quintet varies the moods and intensities of their songs very nicely, loosening up the flow of the album by a good balance between darker, calmer songs and upbeat compositions, yet always retaining the important own touch and sense for cohesion.
So to finally come to an end, if you like Melodic Metal, which is dark and has a certain Gothic touch, but still has at least partly a sound of its own, with fairly original vocals and a good flow and drive, then FORGIVE-ME-NOT's third effort is something that you could very well like!
Available at www.metal-cd.ru! (Online June 23, 2003)