I'll be honest with you, when I first opened the PR email for this album, I was skeptical. As a student of history, I am pretty fatigued from all of the metal glorifying the Ancient world and its wars and the cover art, so prominently featuring that most excessively worshipped of figures, the centurion or hoplite, made me think this might be more of that. However, I try to give every album at least a chance and I am very happy that I did so in Triumphs' case because it is the exact opposite of what I described above. On this release, and Ruin before it, Foretoken are dedicated to exploring, as the email says, "the ignored collateral damage of the cost of victory through these established mythos". I was instantly intrigued and decided to dive deeper into the album and what I discovered was a smashingly excellent blend of melodic death metal, black metal, folk, and power metal.
Triumphs mixes all of the above influences and "maximizes", taking the most bombastic elements from each of the above genres to create an immensely powerful and grandiose album. From melodic death metal it inherits the galloping riff, rooted firmly in heavy metal's history and here played closer to something like Iron Maiden than In Flames. From black metal, the abrasive and unapologetic vocals which blast across and above the riffs. From folk and power metal, powerful and radiant synths, blisteringly technical and flamboyant solos dot the compositions, driving the already vociferous compositions into new heights of monumental expression. All of these influences are expertly woven together so that you don't even notice the seams, forged in Foretoken's dedication to puissant metal into one decisive, lethal whole.
The thing which has surprised me most over the last few weeks of listening to this album is how damn relistenable it is! Something in how Foretoken have built this release just makes me return to it again and again, focusing on different elements from the smorgasbord detailed above. If you're looking to partake of this feast yourself, and you should, Triumphs releases on March 17th via Prosthetic Records. You can pre-order it right here.