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On disc: Forefather

Summer's Flame - Mike Thompson - 9 stars

Summer's Flame

Summer's Flame
(Seven Kingdoms - 2009)

On their last album, 2008's Steadfast, Forefather recorded a song using a medieval poem as the basis for the lyrics. The song was called Miri It Is and the original poem is about lamenting the death of summer to cold, harsh winter. With this latest release Forefather take us back full circle and give us a song based on all that is good about summer. Gone is the talk of winds blowing and strong weather, famine and sorrow and in its place are lyrics about birdsong, long days and sunshine, bountiful harvests and joy.
The overall feel of this song is very similar to Steadfast. The strong anti-Christian themes, particularly prevalent on 2004's Ours Is The Kingdom have all but disappeared from recent Forefather tracks. To be honest this isn't a bad thing as the subject has been well-covered by Forefather and countless other bands and its nice to hear such an upbeat and pleasing song from a band in this particular genre.
Helped by the markedly better production both Steadfast and Summer's Flame are far more accessible than their predecessors. Summer's Flame in particular could be regarded almost as an easy listening song. Wulfstan only utilizes clean singing in this song and his rich, full-bodied voice adds to the overall 'chilled out' aura of the song. I seem to say this a lot but this is truly one of those songs that should be played outside on a hot summer's day whilst drinking a nice beer... perhaps even after just completing the harvest!
A nice listen from the start and a song that will only grow on you over time, Summer's Flame is certainly a good indication of what Forefather are capable of when they want to be mellow. I can't stop listening to it and I anxiously await a hot summer's day so that I can appreciate it properly, beer in hand and smile on face!

9 stars

Mike Thompson


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