FORETOKEN have shared a new visualizer for His Riastrad in celebration of the release of their new album, Triumphs, which is out today via Prosthetic Records. His Riastrad‘s video was put together by Aimed&Framed and features art by Howard David Johnson, depicting the Celtic warrior demigod Cú Chulainn – one of many figures and tales that Triumphs explores in Western and Middle Eastern mythology and folklore.
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Speaking on His Riastrad, FORETOKEN comments: “Today’s the day, Triumphs‘ release date, we’re super excited that the album is finally out for everyone to listen to! The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which is awesome, so thank you all for listening. It’s doubly cool for us as we were able to sync this up with the release of His Riastrad, which is based on the Irish mythological hero Cú Chulainn.”
Utilizing traditional narratives of myths, legends, and folklore, Triumphs examines the ignored collateral damage of the cost of victory through these established mythos. Stories throughout Triumphs include the tale of the Persian epic poem Shahnameh, written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi (referenced in Serpent King’s Venom), Zhong Kui, the mythological Chinese King of Ghosts (Demon Queller) and Mexico’s The Weeping Woman, La Llorona (The Wraith That Weeps).
Taking musical inspiration from melodic and tech death metal, as well as power, folk and black metal, FORETOKEN’s core sound on Triumphs is bolstered by subtle and captivating use of traditionally Scandinavian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern instruments for atmospheric depth within the album’s 51 minute runtime. Reunited once again with Hannes Grossmann (Hate Eternal, Alkaloid, Obscura, Necrophagist, Blotted Science, and Triptykon) on drums and boasting a guest guitar appearance by The Black Dahlia Murder’s Brandon Ellis on penultimate track A Tyrant Rises As Titans Fall, FORETOKEN’s technical prowess shines through without overpowering any of the nine songs’ rhythmic charge.
Triumphs was penned throughout 2021 by both Steve Redmond (guitar and orchestration) and Dan Cooley (vocals), with the pair settling on eight original compositions and a cover of Naglfar’s I Am Vengeance. Grossmann then commenced drum tracking at his own studio, Mordor Sounds, with guitars recorded by Redmond himself and vocals captured at Trepan Studios by Tony Petrocelly, before mixing and mastering duties were placed in the accomplished hands of Jacob Hansen (Arch Enemy, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Black Dahlia Murder, and more) at Hansen Studios.
Visually tied together by portrait artist Tomas Honz’s detailed cover painting, depicting a protagonist’s journey in the aftermath of battle, Triumphs aesthetic component is a symbolic embodiment of the duo’s enduring fascination with historial consequence via a folkloric lens. Taking fables and fantasy to extreme sonic heights, FORETOKEN’s Triumphs is as lofty in ambition as it is accomplished in its musicianship and songcraft.
1. Revenant of Valor
2. Demon Queller
3. The Wraith That Weeps
4. The Labors
5. Serpent Kings Venom
6. His Riastrad
7. Devil o’ the Sea
8. A Tyrant Rises as Titans Fall
9. I Am Vengeance (Naglfar cover)