Downcast Art
Forbidden Memories

Label: Self Released
Three similar bands: Epica/After Forever/Tristania
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01 - Everlasting
02 - Bloodred Ink
03 - Miris Prošlosti
04 - Home Of Silence
05 - Forbidden Memories
06 - Face Without A Name
07 - Whisper Of A Dying Rose
08 - Innocence Never Dies With Desire
09 - Chants From The Deep
10 - Downlight
11 - Home Of Silence (Piano Version)

Jelena Mužar - vocals
Saša Fajković - drums
Davor Grdić - bass guitar
Zdravko Smenderovac - keyboards
Kristijan Radeka - guitar, vocals



Recorded, mixed and produced by Downcast Art, between January 2010 and August 2011. Mastered by Online Mastering, Germany.
Band photos: Monika Mačečević
Cover & booklet design: Davor Grdić
Web design & programming: Zdravko Smenderovac

Released 2013
Reviewed 2013-02-23


Art of the darker kind it can be imagined, with some forbidden memories they start out their musical career with an album called just Forbidden Memories. Memories of a decade of female fronted gothic metal it may be, or something else written in the pages of their great looking booklet. I also like their album cover, it looks exciting and thought provoking. So, I guess you could say that this Croatian band has understood the need to have good looking graphics. Their music is said to be a reflection of complex themes and motives, sometimes even a mystery to the creators – it is there to take the listeners to a place within them, known from long before, to an ageing letter in the chest of their memories.

The history of the band begins in 2005 and in late 2011 they finished their debut album which is what I am looking at now. The present line up of the band is said to be writing a new page in the book of their existence, an entirely new dimension of music. I wonder about this new dimension which I cannot really see, the music itself feels like the classical female fronted gothic metal. With a soprano vocal part and a harsh male vocal part along with symphonic undertones and a touch of progressive parts they take place in a genre which once was made popular by the dutch in the late nineties early 2000s. I would say that musically they do not offer very much in terms of news value but their production is one that impresses and their sound is clearly in level with the big names of the genre. If you are familiar with the genre I think you should think Epica, After Forever or Tristania for reference.

In all regards this is a good album with strong musicianship and good songs, they also do what they do with such skill and they sound like they have a lot of routine and this album is done with such confidence and things feels so obvious for them like it would be their fifth or sixth album rather than their first. One will have to be impressed with their skill and their musicianship, there is however a bit of a but when it comes to this album. That is a feeling that it comes about a decade too late, this music would have been really exciting had it been arriving in the late nineties or early 2000s but now after several albums, bands and projects in this very genre it doesn’t feel quite as interesting anymore. I would describe this album as something in the middle of the genre both in terms of quality and originality.

The thing is that this band has what is required to stand out but they don’t do it which is why I wrote that it sounds like their album is one in a long line of albums later in a career as it lacks the sense of adventure and excitement of a first album. They have the means but they don’t use it I wound say, and why do I say this? I say it because there are a few exciting elements on this album and every once in a while it shines through but a bit too little for the album to really take off on my part. Maybe I have heard too much of this kind of music but this album does not quite excite me the way I think it should do, I think however that it is a very good album and those who like the genre might well find it a good time which is what I do.

45 minutes and ten tracks is what they offer and these are all good tracks and the only moot point I can see is that it isn’t exciting enough and fresh enough to really thrill this seasoned reviewer. So it was a good time listening but I doubt this album will be amongst my memories of great albums I have ever heard, but don’t dismiss it for that as I believe this band might as well do something spectacular in the future. So, this album will not be a forbidden memory, it is way too good for that.



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