CD Reviews

Forgotten Tales - 'We Shall See The Light' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 09, 2011    
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Another very good release from Forgotten Tales.

It has taken a considerable time for the third album by Quebecois band Forgotten Tales to appear. It was way back in 2004 that their previous album 'All The Sinners' was reviewed by me in Fireworks #19, when I commented that the band had 'produced an album full of conviction, flair and enthusiasm'. 
In the intervening six years, the band personnel has changed little: Mike Bélanger having replaced previous drummer Cédric Prévost while a second guitarist Marco Lavoie now supplements the band live and has contributed a solo to penultimate track 'Broken Wings'. However, there has been quite a pronounced changed to the focus of the band's music, which has seen a shift away from the symphonic melodic power metal towards more technical, progressive metal. Over repeated listens I had kept thinking that the first six tracks on 'We Shall See The Light' was rather like listening to Pagan's Mind – but with female vocals! Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I discovered that Forgotten Tales had joined this very band in supporting Stratovarius at shows in Quebec and Montreal in September 2009!

I don't know whether keyboardist Frédérick Desroches took any notice of my comment last time about my eventually finding the extensive use of harpsichord something of a distraction (and annoying!). Well, it is still present on 'We Shall See The Light' but usage is much more restrained and appropriate, and only really seems to appear as a predominant instrument on 'Howling At The Moon', which is the first of the three less technical metal songs at the end of the album, although it is still a tour de force for the rhythm section! This is followed by the previously mentioned 'Broken Wings' which is the song that most resembles anything on 'All The Sinners' and allows Sonia Pineault a more natural and melodic vocalisation! There is still a technical undercurrent, but it is (for me) a relief not to have the relentlessness of the earlier songs. This is also true of album closer 'Angel Eyes' which although it is a faster-paced number has more light and shade and is also distinguished by having a male choir.

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Elsewhere, from the title track that opens the album right through to 'The Calling' its all pretty impressive technical metal stuff, but it does take some time to penetrate – perseverance yielding considerable rewards, of course. I think that Sonia Pineault has found vocalising in this style to be rather challenging and her comments in the booklet - thanking studio technician Pierre Talbot for believing in her and for his great patience – underlines this assertion! Once again, the quality of from the entire band should be commended; it is outstanding, the interplay of guitars and keyboards providing the foundation for the band's sound.

This is another very good release from Forgotten Tales, and it is to be hoped that we might now see them live on the eastern side of the Atlantic!

Paul Jerome Smith

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