Spanish/Catalonian hard rockers, Foscor, have released their latest full length called Els Sepulcres Blancs, meaning The White Tombs.
Els Sepulcres Blancs was released on the 6th of September 2019 via Season of Mist and is Foscor’s 7th full length studio album. Their last release was 2018’s Les Irreals Versions. Foscor have been through a pretty remarkable change across their existence as a band. They started off back in 1997 and were a straight up Black Metal band. As the years went by and they evolved their sound they transformed into a progressive rock/metal band and have remained that way since. Somewhere in between Ghostbath and Ghost.
Foscor are a three piece but with additional live members. The trio at the core of the band are vaguely known as Fiar on vocals with Falke on guitars and effects and A.M on guitars, piano and bass. Joining them on the drums is Jordi Farre and on the bass for live performances it’s Esteban Portero.
Els Sepulcres Blancs is 38 minutes long and made up of 7 tracks of melodic, atmospheric music. Each song feels like a carefully created and multi layered journey. A journey that occasionally takes you to dark and sorrowful places and occasionally to a more uplifting place. Musically each track is masterfully pieces together with a huge amount going on but managing to form a singular idea. The vocals are clean throughout and have a fair bit of echo adding to the melancholic feel. All the lyrics are in Catalonian so I have no clue as to what is being said but you do kind of feel it. It’s one of those albums that show music as a universal language.
Album opener, Laments, really summarises the whole album for me in regards to what you should expect. Piano melody starts off backed my a gentle guitar. It builds slowly and softly as gentle cymbal rolls creep in. The vocals join adding another clean layer before the drums kick into gear playing at a much faster pace than the slow and full melodies from the guitars and piano. It switches regularly but carefully between the slow and emotional melodic sections and the harder hitting, but still grandiose passages. It’s very beautiful.
This style is used across the whole of Els Sepulcres Blancs and each song is so meticulously crafted, so perfectly pieced together, you find yourself experiencing different moods and sensations as you listen. The sad romanticism of Cel Rogent or the more angry Secrets with its big, booming drum layer and it’s roar. Even the soul ascending album closer, L’Esglai. Though I am aware I don’t understand the lyrics so whether the feelings I get are in line with the song, who knows?
What I do know is that it is a very accomplished album. It’s packed full of intelligence and complexity. A clever puzzle of many elements seamlessly slotted together to make an album of intense feeling and immense quality. Even if you don’t like the style of music, you will appreciate its quality. Maybe even wish you liked it more. I would love to see a track that maybe switched things up a bit though. A faster pace or just something a little different to keep the album fresh after repeated plays. Boredom did eventually set in after multiple repeats because of the same tone and pace being used accross the whole album but while it’s fresh, damn it’s good.
You can listen to Els Sepulcres Blancs now on all the usual streaming platforms. Grab a copy from the band at their Bandcamp page, here.
Els Sepulcres Blancs by Foscor (Season of Mist)
The Final Score - 9/10