Foscor have been on quite the journey. Over two decades and five albums, these Barcelona boys have evolved from a fast, fearsome, black metal outfit into purveyors of powerful, post-black, progressive rock. Other extreme bands have plotted the same path in a similar time period but few have done it quite so persuasively.
Their sixth full-length, Els Sepulcres Blancs, picks right up where 2017’s Les Irreals Visions left off—apparently the first two parts of a planned trilogy—which means more dense, rich, soaring riffs, dynamic drums, bright but certainly not upbeat melodies, and epic crescendos. Opener “Laments” even starts by sharing some sonic connective tissue with that previous record’s closing title track.
Elsewhere, biting guitars and a propulsive pace make “Cel Rogent” a standout; “Els Colors del Silenci” mixes the warping psychedelia of modern-day Mastodon with lush skyscraping post-rock, and if the guttural roar that frontman Fiar releases midway through “Secrets” makes you long for Foscor’s early days, his spotless, clean vocals—almost an instrument in their own right—and the dark shadows and limber layers of “Solitud” will confirm the band are much better off where they are now.
However, there is a sense that the Catalan quintet’s journey isn’t over, too. There’s the final part of this trilogy to come, of course, but it also feels like some other form (a final form, perhaps?) is lurking within Foscor. Els Sepulcres Blancs is excellent, then, but there could be much more to come.
– Simon T Diplock