Unforsaken reviews and interviews

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Angelic Warlord


2005, Unforsaken CD, "Not Alone"

2005, Unforsaken CD, "Not Alone"

Excerpt from review by Andrew Rockwell
For complete review, visit AngelicWarlord.com

Review by Keith Mullins

The best way to describe Unforsaken would be an eighties influenced blend of metal, hard rock and melodic rock inviting a comparison to the likes of Bride, Daniel Band, Rez, Stryper, Rivera Bomma, Petra and Idle Cure. I really enjoy how "Not Alone" combines a blend of heavy duty rhythm guitar and catchy hooks on tracks such as "Prison Walls", "Echo", and "Iím Not Alone", while "Surrender" and "Malice" lace a hard rocking atmosphere with a touch of acoustic guitar. As a matter of fact, one of Unforsakenís strengths is the effective manner in which they make use of the acoustic guitar, reflected in some noteworthy ballads such as "When Love Dies" and "Brand New Day (Extended Mix)". The band even pulls off an effective acoustic based cover of the old Siloam tune "Here I Am Again" (from "Sweet Destiny").

Thomas Wilson can flat out sing like a bird when at the top of his game, contributing a melodic flavored mid-octave ranged vocal style while proving his ability to hit a high note with ease. His emotional vocal delivery helps to make the likes of "Surrender", "Iím Not Alone", and "When Love Dies", which were already very good to begin with, really shine. While Hooper delivers a mega-tight rhythm guitar sound throughout, he is at his best on lead guitar, displaying his gritty soloing abilities on "Malice" and "Echo" and a softer, bluesier side to his playing on "Land Of Dreams" and "Here I Am Again". Finally, the two prove very well rounded musicians in that Wilson also fills in on drums, bass, rhythm guitar, and keyboard, and Hooper on bass.

Production values come across crisp and polished in combining an upfront rhythm guitar sound with an even mix of lead guitar and bass. The only constructive comment worth offering, however, is that the drums could have received a somewhat cleaner mix. This is only a minor issue and in no way detracts from the album's effectiveness.

In summary, "Not Alone" proves a very consistent effort musically in that I end up hitting the skip button only once. It would have been nice, on the other hand, to hear at least one more up-tempo hard rocker along the lines of "Malice" or "Echo" in that the album's final four tracks (while very well constructed and holding up under repeated play) are of the acoustic laced/ballad variety. Not that there is anything wrong with this - once more, my favorite number here is the hard rock semi-ballad "When Love Dies". That being said, some of the album's finest moments take place on guitar driven tracks such as "Isolophobia", "Prison Walls" and "Surrender". All in all, "Not Alone" does a good job showcasing the abilities of a talented duo in Thomas Wilson and Jon Hooper. Based upon the potential shown here, I am avidly looking forward to the band's follow up effort.

Review by Andrew Rockwell

Please Note:
We are unable to provide links to the website BrideFan.com, as the site no longer exists.


Thomas Wilson's vocals and Jon Hooper's guitar work are some of the best in the indie market today!

The CD starts off with a cacophonic mixture of bass guitar and gothic/medieval piano music with a voice reciting a scripture, then moving into a full-blown guitar and drum attack.

The second track starts off with a person waking up and wondering where he is and what's happening to him. An evil voice says he's in the prison of his mind. Great bass guitar work and lead guitar here. The lyrics are bold in stating how the person was once blinded but their eyes are opened now and they will no longer be deceived.

The forth track, "Brand New Day", makes me feel like I'm listening to some feel-good-happy-music from the 60's. Not that it's bad, but when going from 3 songs with strong guitars to acoustics with nothing between to slow it down, it just wasn't what I expected. Lyrically, this song is great as a worship type song. This is something that might get a lot of play in churches.

"I'm Not Alone" musically has that "bang your head" beat to it that a lot of today's songs are missing. Also another great, lyrically sound track with lines like "in good times and in bad, Jesus is my guide, I'm Not Alone."

"Echo" has underlying bass heavy guitar rhythms that make you just want to bang your head throughout the song. The theme of the song reminds me of the saying, "the next time the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future."

There are a couple more ballads on the CD, but for the most part, this CD just RAWKS!!! I'd advise you to order this CD today.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Crosses

Keith Mullins

Please Note:
We are unable to provide links to the website BrideFan.com, as the site no longer exists.

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Angelic Warlord
The Christian Metal Realm
2006: Interview with Thomas Wilson

2006: Interview with
Thomas Wilson

Subject: Unforsaken "Not Alone" CD
Interviewed by Andrew Rockwell

Subject: Unforsaken on CMR Compilation CD "The Narrow Path"

I recently had the opportunity to conduct an online interview with Thomas Wilson, the lead vocalist of two Ontario, Canada based bands, Unforsaken and Incarnate. Unforsaken released its full length debut "Not Alone" in 2005. Please read on for more details.

AR: I would like to know more about the history of Unforsaken. When did the first version of the band form and when did it disband? Also, when did the second version of Unforsaken come together?

TW: OK, here goes... I was starting a band way back in late 1992 / early 1993. I met Jon Hooper in the spring of '93, then moved to Toronto in the summer of '93 where I met Sheldon D'Costa in early '94. This was the first formation of Unforsaken. I don't remember exactly when it was that we "disbanded", but I think it was a couple years later. I continued in a solo career still using the name Unforsaken, and the demo CD in 2000 (original cassette version of it was released in '98) and the "Prison Walls" EP in 2004 were both recorded in the spirit of a solo project. But with the help of Jon on the "PW" EP and with Jon and Sheldon both having played such large roles on the demo, it always came out feeling more like a band effort than a solo project. After releasing "PW", Jon got very heavily involved in the making of "Not Alone", which was also supposed to have been recorded as a solo project. But because Jon was SO involved in the album, it just naturally became a band again instead of a solo thing. So Unforsaken never really stopped, at least in name, but it really became a band again in late 2004 / early 2005 with the recording of "Not Alone".

AR: One of my favorite songs from the "Not Alone" CD is "Prison Walls". Would you please go into detail about where its introduction takes place? It sounds like a scene from a nightmare to me.

TW: Yeah, I can definitely see how you would interpret that intro as a nightmare sequence. In fact, there has been one case of a 13 year old girl who listened to the CD and chose not to buy it because that track scared her too much! The idea I wanted to convey was that of a person being held in a metaphoric prison, either spiritually or emotionally. The idea is that the person has come to a realization of their imprisoned state and is desperate to find a way out. Satan is taunting the prisoner and doing his best to keep them bound in this current state, but in the end the prisoner can hear Jesus trying to show them the way out, indicating that to be free, they must take the first steps and follow Him. Although the concept of a nightmare was not my intention when putting together that intro, a dream is definitely one way that this kind of spiritual or emotional revelation could be manifest. I myself have had more than one instance of dreams making me aware of a spiritual or emotional need or preparing me for something I was about to go through in life. So if that intro brings about imagery of a dream, then I am glad, because that is something that I know many people can relate to.

AR: Please tell us more about the cover of the Siloam song "Here I Am Again" (from the album "Sweet Destiny"). The Unforsaken version, for example, moves in an acoustic based direction, while the original as performed by Siloam reflects a melodic hard rock vibe.

TW: I always loved this song, ever since the first time I heard it. Musically it was very cool, and lyrically it was so full of meaning and emotion. But I felt that a lot of the emotion in the lyrics was lost in the energetic radio-rock presentation, and I wanted to perform this song in a way that would allow the deep feelings behind the lyrics to flow out and really be felt. As for it being so different in style from the original... If I do a cover song in tribute of another band, I do it in my own style, not theirs. I'm not them, so I don't feel that I should copy them. Different songs will strike different feelings in me, and my cover of a song will reflect what that song does to me personally, not just imitate the original recording. When I see a band copy another band's song exactly, all that tells me is that they are good musicians, capable of learning a song note for note, but may not have any originality of their own.

AR: I really enjoy how Unforsaken makes use of the acoustic guitar throughout its debut CD "Not Alone". Will this trend continue in future releases from the band?

TW: Well, there will probably be less acoustic on our next album, because the next album will be heavier in nature with fewer ballads on it, but I love the way acoustic guitar lends a certain feeling to the music, even in heavy tunes. So our music will always be laced with acoustic to at least some extent.

Interviewed by an administrator of the Christian Metal Realm forum.

CMR: Give me a brief history of the band...

TW: Jon and I met at a WhiteHeart concert in early 1993 and began working together right away, forming the first phase of Unforsaken. Though we remained best friends and kept working together off and on, we kinda went our own ways musically for a while, until I resurrected Unforsaken, originally as a solo project, and Jon got very heavily involved with it again. The recording of our first full-length album, "Not Alone", signified the re-formation of the band, and we fully intend to keep it going strong from now on.

CMR: How did you guys come to be on "The Narrow Path' compilation?

TW: We have both been regulars on the CMR forum (especially Jon), and we both have copies of the first CMR compilation. So when Arttie was asking bands to submit songs for the next compilation, we made sure we got right in on it. The CMR has been a great support for us, and we want to be involved with anything they've got going, both to promote Unforsaken and to support all the other cool bands involved.

CMR: How would you describe the sound of the band?

TW: Guitar-driven melodic hard rock with some heavy metal... future work will be a little heavier, leaning a little closer to the power metal genre, still very melodic and VERY guitar-driven. Our sound has been described as a blend of Rez and Petra with heavy Bride influences... an assessment that we whole-heartedly agree with.

CMR: What would you say the focus or main purpose of the band is?

TW: Our main focus is to present our audience with songs that will help them improve their lives, both spiritually and emotionally, by showing them how Jesus can make a big difference in their lives. Our first full-length CD, "Not Alone" (2005) focused on reaching out to people going through feelings of depression and loneliness, offering hope by indicating that Jesus can set them free from their emotional and spiritual prisons. Our next album will follow suit by focusing on the need to make life-improving changes and removing obstacles from our lives that can separate us from God.

CMR: What does the future hold for the band?

TW: We are currently in the writing stage for a new album that will get under way sometime in 2007... hopefully earlier rather than later. As I already said, it will be a little heavier, with less ballads than the "Not Alone" CD. You can expect to see a new EP which should be very cool sometime before the release of the next full-length album. Also, we are currently looking for musicians to complete the band, so you may see some additions to our line-up soon. As for our message, we will continue to present songs intended to help people improve their lives emotionally and spiritually.

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