EP Review: Words of Farewell – Stories To Forget (Seek and Strike)

German melodic death metal band, Words of Farewell, return with their new EP, Stories To Forget, due out on the 29th of March via Seek and Strike.

Words of Farewell formed in the German Ruhr District in early 2007. After releasing the two EPs, Ashes Of The Coming Dawn and From Now On…, the band produced their first full-length album, Immersion, in 2010. In 2014 Words of Farewell released their second studio album The Black Wild Yonder, on which the band presented more mature songwriting. The technical-progressive style was maintained without losing the complexity and playfulness in guitars and keyboards that had been developed on Immersion.

Album number 3, A Quiet World, came in 2017 with a slightly more progressive tone than the previous albums. It was seen as being a musical combination of more classical Progressive Metal with modern Melodic Death Metal as a foundation. As of 2020, and an amicable parting with previous label, AFM Records, Words of Farewell looked to rejuvenate themselves and started a cycle of EPs. First came Inner Universe in 2020 with a very modern take on the gerne incorporating more Modern Metalcore elements into the songwriting whilst heavily relying on the trademark guitar and keyboard melodies.

Inner Universe II came in 2021 and really made waves and helped get the band out on even more tours, showing to many fans that they could put on one hell of a live show. They have been out on tour, as support, for the likes of Dark Tranquillity and Scar Symmetry and appeared at multiple festivals, always earning rave reviews. Now, it is time for the next chapter with the release of Stories To Forget on the 29th of March. The band regards this EP as the best of both of their worlds, incorporating the most powerful and at the same time most epic songs to date.

Stories To Forget was mixed and mastered by Sebastian Sendon, producer for bands such as Periphery, Bleed From Within or Catalyst.

Words of Farewell are Alexander Otto on vocals, Erik Gaßmus on lead guitar and backing vocals, Konstantin Voßhoff on bass, Leo Wichmann on keyboard, Tristan Wegner on drums and Robin Dirks on guitar.

Words of Farewell Stories to Forget band

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When a band I am unfamiliar with come our way, and they are introduced as being a melodic death metal band, I get excited. I love the genre. When they are also introduced as being comparable to bands like Scar Symmetry, Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium, well, that raises the excitement to even greater levels. Words of Farewell bring 5 new tracks to our ears on Stories To Forget, around 24 minutes of metal and it’s a fucking blast to listen to. 5 tracks of powerful and precise metal, plenty of brutality but also anthemic qualities.

A Lesser King kicks things off perfectly with a nice blend of keys and guitars leading in a big intro. Vocals are vicious, and mix tones and pitch, the drums are punchy and the bass is prominent. The keys add a nice layer of atmosphere behind the intense and aggressive riffing. Lead guitars mesmerise with meandering lines. I love the pace and the changes in pace. The acoustic drop off is gorgeous and the solo it precedes is fucking huge. This is my sort of metal and a damn fine way to start any release, and introduce yourself.

Stories To Forget keeps the quality high and utlilises they keys nicely to create a slightly ethereal backing while the riffs, drums and vocals crunch your face off. Atmospheric keys and rhythmic drums bridge sections that lead into busy choruses that bring all instruments back in epic fashion. I really like the drums in this one, there are some catchy and infectious beats as well as the more typical fast blasts. Another instrument I like a lot with these guys is the vocals. The tone and depth of his voice is harsh, heavy and very, very listenable. This is a great song, and worthy of title track status. Keyboards are critical to this track and really elevate it, especially in choruses, and there is also a superb solo too. It’s a strong track, and one I will be listening to a lot this year.

Two big hitters to get Stories To Forget underway and three more to go where the quality doesn’t tail off at all. Parting Ways brings that familiar mix of harsh vocals, big riffs and drums but also a backing melody from lead guitars and keys that soothes everything slightly. Lead guitar lines in the chorus bring that meandering and hypnotising feel while the vocals bark manically using little tweaks in tones and harshness to keep them feeling fresh and interesting. Mono No Aware, the longest track on the EP at over 6 minutes is a little melodeath 101 but in the best way. It’s what you hope for from a melodic death metal band such as Words of Farewell.

Acoustic melody leads us in, hypnotic drums tap away before it starts to transform into a fast and heavy beast with crunchy riffs, big bass hits, powerful drums and backing from the keys. Verses are catchy with a serious headbanger of a rhythm. The vocals come in and slay. It all builds up in power and intensity across the verse before, for the first time on the release, we get some clean backing vocals in the chorus. These cleans have an edge still but are also backed by the powerful harsh vocals, with a little back and forth. It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s epic and could easily have been the closing track of the release and the one that will stick longest in my memory.

Not to be outdone, we close with This Mirage which throws plenty of it’s own heavyweight punches. Starting with gentle atmospheric sounds from the keyboards, it changes into a soft and playful melody where the acoustic guitars, gentle drums and keys combine to give quite an uplifting feeling. Of course it changes, in comes the vocals and aggression backed by powerful drum hits and crunchy riffs and you can see mosh pits swelling here. The chorus is strong and I love the guitar melody that bridges chorus back to second verse. The guitar solo is beautiful, emotional and possibly my favourite on the release. It’s another song worthy of a lot of praise.

The whole release has been though. Words of Farewell have delivered massively with Stories To Forget. An EP of immense quality and one that showcases a band full of confidence and ready to take the world on. It’s very cool how much variety Words of Farewell have packed into a 5 track EP too. Each of these songs, while having a foundation set firmly in melodic death metal, have very unique components and have very clear individual identities. There is so much to like, so much music to mosh to, to feel, to get lost in. Kudos also to the vocals that are fucking immense, but, when an EP stands out as much as this, it is because every single musician is at the top of their game and that shines through here.

Stories To Forget is one story that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

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Author

  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

Words of Farewell - Stories To Forget (Seek and Strike)

By Artist: Words of Farewell

Album name: Stories To Forget

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

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