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Spotlight Album: “Long Forgotten Son” – Chapter 13

jtpao 07/11/2024

Folk N Rock
Spotlight Album: “Long Forgotten Son” – Chapter 13

Today, I’m looking into a fresh project that kicked off in 2023, with its debut release hitting now in 2024. This new venture comes from an artist who, after spending just over a decade in a previous band, decided to forge his own path. The project is called Chapter 13, and it’s the creation of Marek, who handles rhythm guitar and vocal duties.

I’ve got to say, this album is something else, and I loved it. So, spoiler alert.

Chapter 13 marks a new direction for Marek, and it’s clear he’s poured his heart and soul into this work. After his extensive experience in the industry, he’s taken all that knowledge and channeled it into something uniquely his own. The result is a collection of tracks that showcase Marek’s growth as both a musician and a songwriter. To me this album feels like a statement of intent from an artist who’s found his voice. And with that said, lets take a look!

The first track on this record, fittingly titled ‘Intro’, lives up to its name. Running for one minute and 12 seconds, it falls just one second short of the magical baker’s dozen of 13. This opening piece isn’t a musical number, but rather a spoken word segment that truly embodies the concept of an introduction.

The narrator’s voice captures the essence of old-time radio, though it’s not quite a transatlantic accent. Instead, it’s a slightly slower, more relaxed tone that seems to belong to the era just after classic radio’s heyday. This soothing voice provides a brief overview of what’s to come, effectively preparing the audience for the album ahead. As the narration concludes, percussive elements begin to build, creating a seamless transition into the album’s first full song, ‘The Shadow’.

As I listen to ‘The Shadow’, I’m struck by the exceptional guitar work. There’s this incredibly catchy riff that kicks in, and I find it fascinating how it seems to mirror the vocal melody in certain parts of the track. To my ears, it’s reminiscent of old school heavy metal, with a touch of early power metal influence. I think this gives the song a unique flavor that sets it apart from what you typically hear these days.

I’m really impressed by the progression in the background. It feels meticulously crafted, with these well-placed brief pauses and roll-ups that add texture. Then it smoothly transitions into a more fluid tone in the progression, punctuated by what I can only describe as simple clashes reminiscent of lightning. It’s quite an experience.

What really catches my attention are some clever vocal techniques used in parts of the chorus. After singing the line “breathe”, there’s this deliberate pause, followed by an overlay of the next line. I think it creates this subtle reverb effect that sounds really cool to me.

The song takes an interesting turn with the introduction of some harsh vocal work in a few lines. It’s a surprising element, but I feel it works well within the context of the track. As I’m listening, I’m reminded of a more aggressive version of Helloween. I think it’s primarily due to the outstanding guitar work, which gives it a bit of a power metal feel, though not entirely. When combined with the impressive vocals, it just clicks for me.

Given the harsh vocals and considering the lyrical content, I feel like everything comes together quite appropriately. It’s a well-crafted piece that manages to blend various elements into something that feels fresh to my ears.

To me, this song explores themes of paranoia, fear, and the struggle with one’s inner demons. He appears to be grappling with a persistent, unseen threat that seems to follow him constantly. There’s a sense of being haunted, whether by a real entity or a manifestation of his own fears and anxieties.

It’s like a feeling of being trapped, while hes’ unable to escape this oppressive presence. Just being caught in a state of constant vigilance, always aware of this looming threat but unable to confront it directly. This creates a feeling of tension throughout the piece. There’s also a bit of self-doubt present. While he questions his own perceptions, wondering if he’s imagining this presence or if it’s truly there. This uncertainty adds a big layer of psychological distress to his situation.

Overall, I think the song is about psychological torment, exploring the fear of the unknown and the struggle to maintain one’s sanity in the face of persistent, unseen threats. It gets right into the human psyche’s darker corners, examining how fear can consume and paralyze us. And for many of those that deal with anxiety, this song is going to connect with you so much.

Speaking of connecting, I really connected with ‘All the Best’. What strikes me about this track is how the guitar work takes a bit of a different direction compared to the first half of the album. I’m hearing a distinct pop punk influence here, which I find really interesting. It’s impressive how he manages to incorporate various rock styles throughout the album while still maintaining a cohesive sound.

The song opens with a catchy riff that really grabbed my attention. Then it shifts gears, slowing down and taking on a more somber tone. I particularly enjoyed the sections with lone guitar work during the verses – it creates this sense of isolation that I think really adds to the overall mood of the track.

Despite its slower pace and melancholic feel, I think it’s worth noting that the song still retains a strong rock vibe. It’s a delicate balance, but I feel he pulls it off well. One of the standout elements for me is the solo guitar work near the end. I found it incredibly impactful and emotional. In my opinion, it complements the lyrical content perfectly, enhancing the overall message of the song.

What I appreciate most about this track, and the album as a whole so far, is how each song has its own distinctive flavor while still feeling like part of a cohesive whole. It’s not easy to achieve that kind of variety without losing the thread that ties everything together, but I think it’s been done really effectively here.

I have a feeling that this song is going to hit a lot of you hard. Because this is something every single one of us, and I’m sure many of you reading this right now, have experienced. This song seems to explore the bittersweet nature of change, particularly in relationships and friendships. There’s a strong sense of nostalgia and loss, as he reflects on connections that have faded over time.

The central theme appears to be the inevitability of change and how it affects our bonds with others. You know that people grow apart, sometimes due to circumstances beyond their control. The world moves quickly, and not all relationships can keep pace. Despite the melancholy tone, there’s also an undercurrent of acceptance. He recognizes that change is a natural part of life, even if it’s painful. There’s a maturity in wishing others well as they move in different directions.

To me it evokes a sense of distance and separation, both physical and emotional. Time is portrayed as a force that erodes connections, leaving us to navigate our paths alone.

Ultimately, the song seems to be about coming to terms with the impermanence of certain relationships. It’s a reflection on the difficulty of maintaining connections in a rapidly changing world, but also on the importance of cherishing the memories and wishing the best for those who were once close, even as paths diverge.

I’m really impressed with ‘Fading Light’. For me, it stands out as one of my favorite tracks on the album. What really caught my attention is the duality present in the song’s composition. The vocal melody is particularly striking to my ears. I think it’s crafted in a way that really draws you in and sticks with you. Coupled with this, there’s some really strong acoustic work that adds depth and texture to the overall sound.

But what I find truly cool here is how these softer elements contrast with the massively powerful main guitar work. The interplay between these different aspects of the song creates a dynamic that I find very engaging.

I think this duality is what makes the song so effective. On one hand, you have these more delicate, intricate elements, and on the other, there’s this raw power coming through in the main guitar parts. The way these contrasting elements come together creates a rich, layered sound that I find myself returning to again and again.

I’m really impressed with how much variety this album offers, and ‘Problematic’ is another great example of that. When the track starts, I’m immediately struck by the old school reverb on the drums. It’s a sound that takes me back, but it’s used in a fresh way here. Then there’s this cool synth work that comes in, creating this atmospheric effect that I find really engaging.

I have to say, this might be another one of my favorite tracks on the record. There’s just something about the overall tone of the music that feels good to me. It’s got this uplifting quality that I really appreciate. One of the standout elements for me is the vocal harmonies. They’re just incredibly well done – beautiful and perfectly executed. It adds this extra layer of richness to the song that I think elevates it to another level.

The whole track has this easygoing vibe that reminds me of late 90s Southern California rock. It’s not an exact copy of that sound, but it definitely evokes that feeling for me. It’s like he has taken that influence and put their own spin on it.

This song seems to be about the challenges of everyday life and the transformative power of how it can shape us. The first part of the song goes into the struggles of social interactions and self-perception. There’s a sense of trying hard to please others but feeling misunderstood or taken advantage of. He has like this struggle with anxiety and self-doubt, feeling that his good intentions often backfire.

I love how’Last Day on Earth’ closes out the album. The opening is surprisingly heavy – it’s got this intense guitar work that, to my ears, almost ventures into doom metal territory. It’s not what I was expecting, and I think it’s a cool choice for the final track. But what I find really great is how quickly the song evolves. It doesn’t stay in that heavy space for long. The pace picks up, and while that initial atmosphere is still there, the introduction of the percussion and other elements takes the track in a different direction.

I’m particularly impressed by the bassline during the verses. It’s got this thumping quality that I find really engaging – it’s the kind of bassline that gets under your skin in the best way possible. There’s a moment in the transition that I really enjoy, where there’s this rapid drum build-up leading into the chorus. It’s a small detail, but I think it adds a lot of energy to the track.

When we hit the chorus, I feel like we’re in a whole new territory. It’s got this traditional punk attitude that contrasts nicely with how the song began. I think this shift in style within a single song is a great way to cap off an album that’s been so varied in its approach.

Chapter 13’s “Long Forgotten Son” is a rock album that hits all the right notes. The songwriting throughout is top-tier, with lyrics that I believe will connect deeply with many folks. I found myself drawn into the stories and emotions of each track, experiencing a strong personal resonance with many of the themes explored.

The instrumentation on this record is stellar from start to finish. Every guitar riff, drum beat, and bassline feels great, which, hats off to the production as well. The production quality adds another layer of polish to the already strong material. Each instrument comes through clearly in the mix, allowing the nuances of the performances to shine.

What makes “Long Forgotten Son” stand out is its ability to explore various facets of rock while maintaining a consistent identity. From heavier, almost doom-like moments to punk-infused energy and more melodic passages, the album covers significant ground without ever feeling disjointed.

I think Chapter 13 has created something special with this album. It’s a record that not only delivers great rock songs but also offers an emotional journey, as we were told in that intro, and again, I believe it will resonate with many.

The post Spotlight Album: “Long Forgotten Son” – Chapter 13 appeared first on Folk N Rock.

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