Calm Seas Don't Make Sailors

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With melodic post-emo deathcore sweeping across the United States like a plague in the mid-'00s, Californians Foreknown achieve their individual distinction through their commitment to Christianity, more so than their songs. These are competent enough in form and execution, but also formulaic to a fault (thick walls of guitars, hyperactive drumming) as compared to their more inspired and carefully thought out lyrics. Indeed, whether preaching the ministry outright or delivering stimulating messages of a more vague nature, emblematic tracks like "Weapon of Choice," "Voted Most Likely to Succeed," and "Tonight the Ghosts They Dance" (nice title!) usually seem a little underdeveloped -- or a few good psalms short of a perfect sermon, if you prefer (sorry, couldn't resist). In face, truly "finished"-sounding standouts are restricted to "Through Thick and Thin," "This Ain't No Summer Vacation," and "Barrel of a Gun," which at least show what the band is capable of were they to focus long enough. Finally, that the album itself is so brief (just over half-an-hour) can be viewed as both a confirmation of Foreknown's still embryonic creativity or a blessing that they don't try to fool us with excess dross -- now that would be quite un-Christian of them. In any event, Calm Seas Don't Make Sailors is a suitable debut for a band whose purpose of vision is already stronger than most.

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