I am not the first person to say this, but when one gets acquainted with the Catalans, ever more so if on a personal level, one cannot help becoming a little partial towards Foscor. The reason being, these guys are great people and the band possesses a truly captivating charm!
This recently released DVD celebrates 10 years worth of trajectory across darkness aboard the cursed vessel of black metal. Ethos which the band took to heart, working hard to make it deeply personal by implementing three essential elements that make Foscor worthy of a place within our avantgarde metal melting pot: intensity (or call it all-consuming passion); a disdain for the musical rule book; a desire to carve further down below the obscure tunnels of human psychology by way of mutating, bending sounds to echo the screams of horror and groans of pain that resound in the subconscious mind.
The track list has been arranged extremely carefully, and the first thing that one notices after the first listen is how well it all flows, beginning the journey in bitterly raw coldness (the calm before the storm) and ending it right in the eye of a gigantic hurricane of ice and fire! It is very interesting to see how the Barcelona audience stands still for at least half of the duration of the set: entirely transfixed, everyone beholds the performance, absorbing the emotions, decoding the language of this engagingly unique brand of black metal. This reaction is an unmistakable sign of a quality act: the willingness to pay full attention rather than going berserk over the fast sections, is a compliment to the artists. Perhaps bands who are confronted by this type of reaction might at times wonder if they are doing enough to connect with the fans, but make no mistake: that is certainly not the case here. Towards the end, as the intensity of the track sequence keeps rising, some do let go: fists rise and hair-windmills spin, and on people’s faces one can read awe and complete satisfaction. And perhaps a little nostalgia too, as this 10 year anniversary punctuates an announced shift in Foscor’s music: from now on, apparently we shall have a “dark metal” band, the “blackness” remaining in spirit but the door-frame of inspiration will – from now on – be open wide to all kinds of inspiration. Will the shedding of the now too tight BM skin be the 4th element that turns Foscor into a fully fledged AGM band? No one knows, and I am eager to hear what will come out of their new approach in pursueing further “foscor” (“darkness” in Catalan).
Back to the DVD. Since the 9 tracks represent in random order the three full-lengths and most EPs which were released between 2001 and 2011, one can marvel at the great cohesion that the Foscor set actually offers. The blistering, bone-chilling rage of an early track like “Al Cor de la Boscúria” (“in the heart of the woods”), sits fantastically well alongside the more unorthodax ones, and that is not just due to professionalism and experience, but also to a high degree of seriousness and dedication: everything is overflowing with passion, and it comes through in bucketfuls even on a recorded performance! In other words, Foscor owns that spellbinding quality, that bewitching aura that captures your soul: this is not something that can be conquered by practice; it is a gift.
If you don’t yet know the band, you are now aware that you have missed out on an unconventional black metal feast where gritty depressive nuances meet the obliqueness of the more progressive acts we all appreciate on AGM (a love for all-things-Czral is noticeable); where the majestic mark of classic Norwegian BM (read Emperor minus the symphonic ornaments) embraces the equally dark, but quieter vastness of doom. But all is far but lost: you can pick up their old works and watch out for their contribution to the Enslaved tribute album out soon on Pictonian Records. And remember, Foscor will not disband but rather carry on from another angle with the aim of satisfying their unquenchable thirst of ever new pastures: a penchant for new adventures I will always welcome and encourage.
Last but not least, a particular mention goes to Fiar, whose excellent vocals kept me engrossed throughout the many listens (not to mention the great faces he pulls!) and to Falke, whose guitar work contributes massively in making Foscor so captivating, adding mesmerizing layers to the music with his open-minded, often rock-influenced playing; Falk is also involved with the band’s visuals, and the editing, mixing and mastering of the live material, the official video of “I Tornà de les Cendres” and the documentary included this DVD are his own work.
Long live Foscor: may Darkness be always with you, feeding the all-consuming beast that is true passion for meaningful Music!
For a copy of this excellent document of European/Catalan BM history go to their official facebook page, or here:
Avantgenre: Unorthodox Black Metal
Official site: None
Review online since: 28.06.2012 / 17:19:27
01 – Groans To The Guilty
02 – Raids To Punishment
03 – El Palau Dels Plors
04 – Searching A Seal Of Pain ( The Beauty )
05 – The Smile Of The Sad Ones
06 – Al Cor De La Boscúria
07 – The Other’s Voice
08 – I Tornà De Les Cendres
09 – Melangia
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