Over the last three years, Melbourne based melodic/metallic post-hardcore Forgiven Rival have been creating their own buzz in the underground through their two independently released E.P.’s (2005’s self titled effort and 2006’s The Symphony Of Words) and their performances onstage alongside bigger names such as Parkway Drive, Silverstein, Carpathian, Boys Night Out and Behind Crimson Eyes.
Now backed by up-and-coming local label El Shaddia Records (Whose only other signing is House Vs Hurricane) and returning with their debut full-length effort This Is A War, Forgiven Rival are ready to show the rest of the world what their made of.The band (Who comprises of vocalist/bassist Joel Thornton, guitarists/backing vocalists Adrian Brown and Peter Fabrizio and drummer Simeon Dux) certainly put their best foot forward with the opening track “Life Behind The Lies.” The big heavy hardcore breakdowns and metallic edge to their sound ensures that the band have plenty of power behind them, while the melodic choruses showcase the commercial appeal within the band’s song writing.
The single “The Request” is easily one of the catchiest songs on the album with flourishes of catchy hard rock heard in amongst the odd line of screaming and heavy guitar work, with tracks such as “In Case Of Ignorance,” “Like The Effects Of The Wind” and “Time Is Taking Over” seemingly all cut from the same cloth in terms of direction.
Altering the flow of the album a little more towards the emo-rock side of things are some of the slower tracks, with “Through My Eyes,” “Is Anybody Listening” and “This Is Your Song” the definite stand-outs, while on the short instrumental “Reflections” the band expose their given musical talents.
Although there’s nothing remotely new brought to the table in terms of the genre they’ve chosen, Forgiven Rival’s debut release This Is A War is a well-rounded and likeable release, and one that’s sure to attract more than a few listeners in the band’s direction.