Cape Town, South Africa: an orchestral metal mammoth is heading our way; The Final Bastion returns in 2020 with ‘Stepping Stones’. Our first (and until recently only) listen to any original output from the band came in 2018 with a single titled ‘Until Death Do Us Part (Miss Conceptions)’. In April, The Final Bastion let loose with an epic metallic tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven; an indelibly heavy version of the classic composer’s ‘Moonlight Sonata (Fall of Man)‘.
Now we’re listening to ‘Stepping Stones’, the first song written for the project even if not the first released. Louis, the primary writer for The Final Bastion and an ever-strategic thinker, fills in the gaps for us:
“It was the first song we felt would represent the sound we’re going for completely. We wanted to initially release ‘Stepping Stones’ instead of ‘Till Life Do Us Part (Miss Conceptions)’, but we came to the decision that it’s not a good approach since “Stepping Stones” is audibly more brutal, melodic and symphonic and people might’ve had a WTF moment.” ~ Louis Henn (composer/vocalist, The Final Bastion)
Louis and the clan led us further down the rabbit hole with their ‘Moonlight Sonata’ tribute, showing us the full spectrum of The Final Bastion‘s musical ideals before hitting home with the current track. ‘Stepping Stones’ also introduces a new dynamic to the mix with vocals from Alex Wiese, the voice behind former bands Messiah Complex and later on with live vocals for Creating the Godform.
“‘Stepping Stones’ also showcases what we’re planning to do vocally with Alex representing all lower to mid tone vocals and myself from the mid tone to higher vocal registers. We believe this creates a powerful blend strong enough to portrait the message behind the music.” ~ Louis Henn
Album release date: still in 2020?
The full work is making good progress, according to Louis. He attributes the slow progress not only to life and the business of living it as getting in the way, but also to gear acquisitions. The band prefers to do their work of recording with the best means possible and thus have chosen to wait a little longer on some aspects for the work.
“Needless to say, we never stopped working on the album. Although progress has been slow, there has been progress and we’re now seeing a possible completion for the first time. The recording for the album started in June 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown and ‘Stepping Stones’ is a good indication of where we are sonically. We can understandably not shine a light on an official release date at this stage. There’s loads of production still to be done even once everything is finalized recording-wise; but we feel it’s going to be worth the wait.” ~ Louis Henn
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