CD Review: Sakara - "Forgetting What Was" (Pavement Entertainment)

Harkening back to the turn-of-the-century nu-metal movement, Sakara’s Forgetting What Was features very raw production levels, tenacious, sneering vocals and blueprint structures. “Standing My Ground” is one of the best offerings off Forgetting What Was, especially at around the two minute mark when vocalist Dan O’Brien does his very best Aaron Lewis impersonation (think “Raw,” “Spleen,” “Crawl”). O’Brien repeats the corrosive bark on “Return To Pangea,” a track that shows off his commendable range. Lead single “From Ashes” is uncharacteristically buried near the backend of Forgetting What Was, a gritty hard rock tune that just might be the best all-around track on the album. The penultimate “Heaven Below” is another strong offering that featuring excellent swirling guitars and stomping rhythms, and when it comes time for the band to look for a second single to release, they don’t have to look any further than this cut. The afore mentioned production is provided courtesy of Staind bassist Johnny April, who doesn’t do the band too many favors in terms of accentuating the bands strong suits. His fingerprints can be heard on the deep, rugged bass lines of “Flesh And Blood,” but for the most part, the production sounds a bit lacking - at times the vocals (and drums for that matter) come across as too bare bones (O’Brien’s falsetto during the hook of “The Hunger” is downright brutal). There’s something here however, something palpable, on Forgetting What Was, that’s a non-issue. Sakara has some chops, and while this album wouldn’t have benefitted from over-production, it would have certainly benefitted from better production. To sum it up, Forgetting What Was lacks something.     

Grade: C

Go Download: “Return To Pangea”