- Genre: 'Heavy Metal'
- Release Date: '26 July 2019'
Of the many obscure variant strains of metal you’d have to actually hear to believe they exist, ‘historical metal’ is possibly one of the obscurest I’ve encountered yet. But here I am, looking at the booklet that accompanies ‘Over the Hills’ by Merseyside quintet Forlorn Hope. The songs are all about historical events (well, specifically battles: they are a metal band after all), and the lyrics are accompanied by half a page of densely-packed narrative about the event in question. There’s even a bibliography. Credit to them, they’ve done their research and the songs are both lyrically and musically articulate.
In terms of musical style, Forlorn Hope are very much of the classic metal persuasion, with detailed lead guitar lines soaring over solid riffs, while Chris Simpson’s vocals sit in the higher registers. There’s a sense of bombast, of epic, and high seriousness about ‘Over the Hills’, and it would be easy to chuckle at the grandiose loftiness of it all, but then, the subject matter rather lends itself to bold, expansive treatment. The high drama is palpable as vast armies clash, with slashing swords and blasting cannons and carnage as bodies pile up on fields awash with blood.