• 7.5/10
    FORWARDHEAD - Pieces - 7.5/10


Hard Volume Records
Release date: May 1, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The title and the music is a reminder of Rocky Balboa’s stone cold logic. As Sylvester Stallone’s Oscar-winning alter-ego says, “It’s about how hard you can get hit [in the head] and keep moving forward.” In step with this punchy pugilist, the band is well-versed in philosophical libretto with lyrics that are sporadically intelligent and shrewd; more-or-less enunciated off-and-on. Yet, they can pound out power chords with the best of them. To draw a comparison, they’re a bit like Tool using a mix of Progressive and Gothic hues across the more brutal end of the spectrum.

“Dark Curtain” starts the album and it’s similar to that abstract sequence when Ivan Drago delivers several unanswered stiff blows. The cobwebs clear in “Second Guess”, and this is where they’re most fluent and fresh. “Cycle” breaths as it works the clinch; finishing the round with sharp jabs from the guitar. “Binary” is rougher in nature due to dirty boxing from the bass and drums.

The album continues to oscillate through effective strategies used in its initial third.

“Dawning” is another hazy mosaic whereas “Unrest” is a song that shares discussion points. “Answer”, however, hints to Pain of Salvation’s The Perfect Element. Bringing earlier trends to a hearty boil, “11th Hour” increases the tempo. Here, the bass and guitar fire off impressive combinations.

The album finishes just as confident as it was in the stare down.

“Bring Me Down” has Drowning Pool written all over it. Pacing itself, “Song for the Lost” is a next generation interlude whilst “Hope and Pray” is a poetic plea that’s not to be undersold. Surprisingly, “Deliverance” is nothing more than whitespace, but it leads to the noteworthy “143”. They provide this live recording before time runs out in the bout. Besides the crowd and a grainier sound quality, it’s hard to fathom anything other than studio material in attendance. Not to mention, edgy musicianship complements those convincing feigns. So it’s a great selection to act as headliner to this overall balanced affair. Lest we forget, Forwardhead has trained to go the distance and beyond. Stitched with fine acoustic strings into the same cut, you will be encored and one-two’ed by “Prelude in D Minor”.

Turning blind fury into a vision quest, a cool video is hidden in the multimedia section of this disc. Plug your ears and the visuals are unquestionably Goth. Conversely, cover your eyes and the music solely exudes Nu Metal.

Incidentally, “143” has been known to represent “I love you” in instant message speak. More than words can say and unlike the gore that underscores many of their songs, this respectful ditty relays kind feelings and class once the ref calls the match. If you’re a masochist who’s strictly into Pieces for its strikes, its lax aftermath may not be for pundits such as you. Still, heartfelt repercussions pleasantly offset those hurtin’ bombs.


  • Joshua Turner

    Joshua was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iced Earth, Judas Priest, and Opeth are among his favorite bands, as well as Spock’s Beard and The Flower Kings. Once upon a time, the radio was a stopping point for him. From the day he discovered side-projects and Scandinavian imports, it all changed overnight. Outside of music, his passion is roller coasters. But when he's grounded and at home, he belong in the company of musical aficionados and technical shredders. He’ll get his jollies listening to Jazz Fusion when his favorites are in short supply. Still, if he had his druthers, give him a pretentious epic with a high-brow concept any day of the week (and slap on a guitar line with oodles of power chords for good measure).

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