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EVER FORTHRIGHT

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Ever Forthright biography
EVER FORTHRIGHT are a progressive metal band from Long Island, NY, consisting of guitarists Nick LLERANDI and Billy ANDERSON, bassist Jon LLERANDI, drummer Jerad LIPPI, keyboardist Kevin THEODORE, and vocalist/saxophonist Chris BARRETTO. The band solidified their lineup in early 2010 with the final addition of BARRETTO after his stint as former vocalist for PERIPHERY.

EVER FORTHRIGHT play a style of metal that makes heavy use of mathy time signatures and djenty grooves, much like their fellow American rockers in PERIPHERY. While it's very easy to hear musical similarities between the two bands (BARRETTO did, after all, co-write some of the songs that made it onto PERIPHERY's debut album), EVER FORTHRIGHT are more based in the stylings of death metal, as opposed to PERIPHERY's metalcore leanings. While much of the heaviness is akin to bands like MESHUGGAH, GOJIRA, and LAMB OF GOD, EVER FORTHRIGHT set themselves apart from their peers with a very strong infusion of jazz into their music. All members of the band are classically trained jazz musicians, and the addition of a full-time keyboardist and saxophone player give the band tremendous flexibility with the addition of very jazzy breaks and CYNIC-esque heavy fusion, creating a very unique brand of progressive metal that is heavy in contrast and loyal to true jazz methods.

EVER FORTHRIGHT are currently signed to MYRIAD RECORDS and are set to release their self-titled debut LP in December of 2011.

Bio by NecronCommander

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Ever Forthright (Self-Titled)Ever Forthright (Self-Titled)
Myriad Records 2012
Audio CD$12.00

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4.00 | 6 ratings
Ever Forthright
2011

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EVER FORTHRIGHT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ever Forthright by EVER FORTHRIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 6 ratings

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Ever Forthright
Ever Forthright Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by TheWatcho

4 stars Ever Forthright's Self Titled Debut - 3.625/5 Stars

The first release by Ever Forthright, this six-piece Progressive/Technical Metal band (with Chris Baretto vocal prowess among their lines) from LongIsland certainly shares lot of similarities with other 'djent' acts ('Periphery' being the obvious one), but they have certain traits deployed in their songs giving a flavor that separate them from their peers, that is their supposed "djazz" sound, which kinda work in certain songs, and don't in others.

What can I say 'bout this band... since I've listened to them actively (a friend of mine insisted that I should listen to their debut), I thought they were another 'djent' act, but when the interesting moments and jazz arrangements surfaced between the middle of the brutality that the band displays, I began to 'understand' that this band definitely wanted to deliver something distinctive in their sound, making the junction between the extreme of what the djent scene offers , the clean vocals (kinda typical metalcore/djent at first listen, but Chris Baretto is certainly a true talent here in Ever Forthright) and the lounge jazz... unfortunately, the intersection of these factors is not always satisfactory in this long and complicated album.

So, let's begin my first "track by track" review, I hope you'll enjoy.

(Edit: I re-listened this album a lot since I did this review... and... it's definitely an adcquired taste, but it doesn't change certain facts or views I have about this album, points that I've writed here, in this review.)

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1.-'All Eyes On The Earth' 3/5 stars

Your typical Djent song. Sounds like Periphery on steroids. The song meet in its work to be the album opener, in the same way that 'Insomnia' does (From Periphery's debut)... even both songs sound alike, with the electronic beats and electronic 'feel' (that almost every djent band gives to their music). Most riffery are just the typical 8/7-stringed fifth riff with those spastic sweeps over the riff, and backup guitar harmonies with some "ambient". But these guys just take to a whole new level of noise; the bombastic 'djent' riffing, with a guitar medling with sweeps, and a guitar backing with ambient just manages to create a wall of sound that only gave me a headache at first... this song needs to be listened more than twice in order to get what's going on. I don't mind Chris Baretto "whiny vocals" (like most detractors say), I actually love them (he is by now, my favourite djent vocalist), but his vocal lines are just too cliché in this song, especially when the song reaches to the clean chorus, It follows the same basic resource every djent band uses, that is, prolonging the first syllable or word in the chorus, making most of them sound repetitive giving a deja-vu feel towards the song structure of other 'djent' bands. Take this as an example... the verse from 'Tesseract's''Deception' follows the same basics from 'All Eyes On The Earth' chorus, and that's just an example, because I have heard this many times in almost every 'Djent'act with clean vocals. It's not bad, like I said before, I love Chris tone and timbre, but the vocal lines here don't do justice in my opinion. Song structure it's pretty linear, but then, the song goes down, and returns with a generic 'chuggy riff marking the beats along the voice. The song is good, but it's just an opener to what Ever Forthright are capable to do, so it's become short in certain aspects, and kinda generic in others.

2.-'Latency And Tendencies' 3.5/5 stars

This is a very well done piece for the most part, it has good layered riffing, I like how the guitar work goes with the clean vocals, and I like how they get mad with the spastic riff that permeates most of the song but... there is something that just makes the song feel disjointed, and it's the "jazz" section. The way they handle the transition between the riffery and the jazz section it's so indelicate, it makes the song feel pompous, the jazz section is totally misplaced, IT DOESN'T FIT AT ALL! It doesn't feel part of the song in the way it comes in (too sudden and unnatural), it also feels unnatural when coming back to the 'djent' part and lacks logic, but, talking of the Jazz section itself, it's not bad, it's good, but nothing too special. There have been a lot of hype about the sax in Ever Forthright, Chris Baretto is clearly a nice Saxophonist, and bands like 'Coprofago', 'Wayd' , 'Insahn' already did this mix of metal and sax... altough, in Ever Forthright case it doesn't help the sax in this jazz section, because the section doesn't fit, :(. As an example, Coprofago's music is infectious, is sick, it's pretty complex and terrific, and when they added their jazz fusion and sax layers, they were able to retain their 'infectious sound' even when playing something different, but that's not 'Ever Forthright's' case in this song. I feel they added the jazz section just for the sake of being "experimental", but it fails, because the jazz section feels disjointed, and doesn't follow the song's logic, it sounds forced. Neverthless, the song is really good aside that awkward jazz section, and it could have been easily a 5/5 stars if the jazz section was handled in a better way.

3.- 'The Little Albert Experiment' 5/5 stars

This little weird song it's one of the best shots in the album. It's dissonant, but Nick Llerandi and Billy Anderson manages to deliver high quality harmonic axework, even some of the most simple clean vocal lines by Chris Baretto in this song sounds extremely good here when layering over the groove-ish riffing! The song's climax is clearly one of the best moments in the whole album. The way the song flows until the sax comes in, it's excellent. First doing a soothing jazzy solo, and then doing counterpoint with the guitar, until it fades out in a discreet way. (This is one of the few songs that really manages to deliver 'Ever Forthright's' "djazz" proposal)

4.- 'Lost In Our Escape' 4.5/5 stars

Easily, the most catchy/ear-candy track. The main melodic riff is insanely good. There is a lot sense of melody in this track, and that's something that pleases the ear, especially after hearing the massive chugg fest that the first 3 songs offered. Although, there are certain things that keep this song from getting a 5/5 rate, and that's the generic chugg riff that comes at 2:04 in the song,

5.- 'Screen Scenarios' 3/5 stars

This 'epic' (clocking at almost 10 minutes) it's pretty much a summary of everything we've heard until this point. There are certain riffs, vocal melodies, and certain transitions that recalls to the former songs in this debut, and because of that, the song suffers from the same thing that happens to 'Latency and Tendencies'; the jazz section comes in too sudden without a logical progression, but thankfully, this section is saved by Chris's soaring vocals, the ascending guitar line, and the crescendo Drums beats, so in the end it manages to flow into the song upbeat tempo. The guitar solo is average, nothing to be amazed. All in the end, the song is above average, but there is too much going on that it just feels like an annoying wall of sound, especially when they play "complex" sweeps or chromatisms, which dont add anything to the song, making it sound "too adventurous", and since the mastering isn't the best (the album is self-released, it's understandable), the song ends up sounding overly produced.

6.- 'Spineless' 2/5 stars

Probably the most dense song here. This song featuress caveman's djent riffing, 'br00tal' deathcore stylings, no clean vocals, and a cacophony of noisy guitar textures. Like I said earlier, the mix isn't the best, so the most brutal moments in certain songs just tend to sound too irritating because of the mix. The song just ends up sounding too random, filler, and 'br00tal' bro-core (even if it is layered with 'jazzy' things, it still sounds generic).

7.- 'Reflections' 5/5 stars

The sexiest track in this record. A soothing instrumental lounge jazz piece that succeed to sound dazzling with his soft, calm and airy notes. Even if is not a true 'djent'/technical metal song, or even if isn't a real prog piece, it is still a damn good track... a respite from what this record has.

8.- 'The Counter Shift' 3,5/5 stars

Confusing at it is, even with the off-key singing,'Counter Shift" does sound measured, with traces of atmosphere that don't saturate the sound, even with the constant brutality that these riffs offer. The song is pretty straightforward, and despite not having sections of 'jazz', beyond the piano outro (in fact, the song does not make much logical order, but still flows very well), there are certain 'jazzy' traits within the sonic chaos this song forms, by the way the chord progressions are given through.

9.- 'Infinitely Inward' 2/5 stars

The lowest blow. This song represents everything bad about being "experimental" without being able to fuse disparate elements. The song, is pretty much a standard 'djent' song (the intro riff clearly show us that), even with the catchy clean chorus (one of the most catchiest in the album), the downright misplaced experimentation, the poor backing harmonies, and the generic chugg riffing killed this song for me. 'Infinitely Inward' is full of contrasts that 'Ever Forthright' didn't manage to match (there is rap, the same kind of lounge jazz they used before, and a soul/R&B singer towards the outro), yet they still put the song on the album... I do not know if this means they have balls, or simply are confident of their ""experimental skills"", anyway, this is the weakest track, period. I really don't mind rapping or 'soul' vocals in my metal, but if you're going to do it, please... do it well.

10.- 'City Limits' 4/5 stars

A pretty pop-ish electronic sounding track, with riffing that gives the feel of electronic beats, especially with the soaring singing that captivates until the time comes that growls take control of the song's direction. So, from what looked like a ballad, it quickly became a dis- harmonic riffery (in a good way). The song itself is good and I like the fact that it is a break from what in sound or technicality is concerned, since it is a simple song in direction, riffs or melody, but that does not mean anything bad at all, because it works well.

11.- 'Dispose Of Your Optimism' 4/5 Stars

One of my favourites. Earlier, I said that 'Screen Scenarios' was a summary of what 'Ever Forthright's' debut offered until that point... well, 'Dispose' it's the perfect summary for what the whole album has to offer. If you want to know what 'Ever Forthright' are made of, you should listen to this track because It contains some of the best melodies, intrincate guitar & sax playing (which gives beautiful tones), and sections from the album, although, this song also contains those things that this band has suffered in previous songs: the forced & sudden transition from metal to jazz... maybe you do not mind at this point, but I think they should correct the transitions issue. 'Dispose' is still one of the best from this album, and could have been a perfect closer, but that spot has been taken by 'Clockwork'.

12.- 'Clockwork' 4/5 stars

Last but not least, the heavy ending for this long (too long) album which finishes in a subtle way, until fading out.

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This is indeed good music, and there are innovative ideas thrown here and there, but the production & mastering make it sound overly-produced and sterile in lot of songs. In the most heavy songs, it forms a wall of sound just of riffing, making it difficult to hear and understand the songs at a micro level, so its mandatory to have to listen to each song more than once, but not for its complexity, it's because of the cacophony. Also, the album is too long, it's too darn long. This album could have been hella better if they taked out 'Infinitely Inward', 'Spineless', and shortened certain parts in some songs.

There was a lot of hype towards this album, because the aforementioned "jazz" influences over the songs, but I feel that those influences failed to fully fuse with their music, so, certain tracks, even with their "djazzy" sound, just ended up sounding misplaced and even... "generic", and other songs failed to successfully incorporate the jazz sections (being too sudden or forced).

This is still an intriguing & interesting record, and the fact that it is self-produced is cause for applause, but do not be fooled by what 'some' might say: "revolutionary", "super duper progressive," "the best djent evahr", that's bull[&*!#], this album is really good, but still... isn't groundbreaking. They have lots of potential, but have yet to align their 'metal/jazz' sound in a better way, I really think Ever Forthright has something unique in their music, but needs to be polished.

I hope that the next album will be able to bring a real 50%/50% fusion of Djent and Jazz. When that day comes, they are really going to be a groundbreaking band.

Total = 3.625/5 Stars

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