Forlorn Path unleash a dynamic brand of blackened doom metal that is both brooding and inspiring. Fans of acts such as Agalloch and Swallow The Sun are sure to revel within the exquisitely bleak tapestries this New Jersey based collective has to offer. Their latest magnum opus is entitled Man’s Last Portrait, a sonic journey that will leave music aficionados absolutely breathless. Here is an interview we conducted with one of the travelers of Forlorn Path to find out more about this intriguing entity ready to darken your doorstep. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Forlorn Path, and how long the band has been together.
This is Yuriy, and I play guitar in the band. We’ve been together for about five years now, though Dave and I are the only original members.
Where is the band based out of and what is the metal scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We’re from NJ, USA. I barely have time to go to shows these days, but there are definitely quite a few good bands around. I highly recommend Windfaerer for fans of black/folk metal. There’s also Last Legion (viking metal) and Winter Nights (melodic death metal) from Brooklyn, NY. Those who appreciate technical death/thrash would definitely like Dystrophy, who, like us, started out in New Brunswick. Alexander Bateman is a great instrumental project. I’m sure there are quite a few other great bands I can’t remember right now.\
Is there any story or concept behind the album title Man’s Last Portrait?
Intifada was a concept album, but Man’s Last Portrait has a lot of different themes. There’s no central story or concept, though I do think that the themes all have something in common. The album deals largely with topics of loss and grief, whether personal or on a global scale.
Select two songs from Man’s Last Portrait and what inspired the lyrics.
I’ll choose Masquerade and Relics for this one. The former deals with Edgar Alan Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death“, and relates the ideas in the poem to the way people today fall prey to empty consumerism and the “McDonaldization” of the world – which I find rather appalling. In Relics, the narrator looks back on a world destroyed by human greed, so it continues on the theme introduced earlier on the album.
Who did the cover art for Man’s Last Portrait and how much input did you on it?
The cover is actually a photo I took and edited based on an image I had in mind, so I suppose I had 100% input on that, haha.
What could one expect from a live Forlorn Path show?
We haven’t done live shows for quite some time, and it may be a while before we can do that again. But when we do, we hope to provide listeners with something special – not just another show. Candles, fog, incense…I want people to walk away feeling like they really experienced something.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, which band would that be and why?
I’d love to play with Agalloch. Their songs feel like going on a journey, and that’s what I strive to achieve with my own music. I think we could really create an interesting and unique experience for the fans together. Swallow the Sun, Draconian, or Anathema would all be amazing as well – simply because they were a big influence on me.
Are you or the other band members involved with any other bands outside of Forlorn Path?
Ivan is exploring electronic music on his own, and Dave sings metal versions of songs at a Karaoke bar on occasions. No major projects though – we barely have time for one band these days. This is a very busy time for all of us.
Is there any label interest in the band, and how easy or difficult has it been to pretty much do everything on your own at this point?
Doing everything on your own is not easy. But, it’s also very rewarding, and people often seem impressed by the fact that we’ve put together this album without outside support. It’s really encouraging to hear. And you get to have full creative control over everything, which is quite nice, albeit rather scary – if the music is not well received, it’s all your fault.
Has Forlorn Path toured in the past or plan to do so in the future? If so, what was the touring experience like?
No tours yet. Hopefully some day…
What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing Man’s Last Portrait for the first time?
I hope they’re able to connect with the music somehow…feel something I was feeling when I wrote it. Or, experience their own vision of the song. As long as they feel something. The last thing I want is for people to hear it and think it was “just another song”.
What are the future plans for Forlorn Path?
Nothing is set in stone right now. However, I can guarantee that I will continue writing music regardless of what happens further down the road. I already have some new ideas brewing. But, I definitely want to give the next album plenty of time to develop and really make sure it’s perfect before even stepping foot into the studio.
Any final words of wisdom?
Support the not-so-well-known artists. There are so many great musicians out there that make absolutely amazing music, but only a few very fortunate ones get to actually make a living from it. Check out artists you’ve never heard of before, and keep an open mind – you’ll be surprised by all the amazing music you’ll find out there!
Forlorn Path is: Yuriy Garnaev, Dave Imbriaco, and Ivan Chernikov.
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
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