Label: Hammer Of Hate
Distribution: Hammer Of Hate Records
Release date: early 2012
The search for a decent moniker… 1995, Brightness Of Darkness, then Winterflesh, followed by Iceage, and as from 1999 these Fins acts under their current Swedish (!?; it’s Swedish for ‘destroyed’, I guess) moniker, Förgjord. Then again it took almost a decade for a first full length to release: Ajasta Ikuisuuteen in 2008. But it was worth waiting for!
Now we will experience the sophomore album, Sielunvihollinen. Recorded, again, by Valgrinder (g, b) and Prokrustes Thanatos (both of them also in Njafrar; the first one formerly known from Bestial Devastation, Pimeys and Gaurithoth as well). It stands for forty seven minutes of material that was actually recorded during the years 2010 and 2011.
Sielunviholinnen, meaning ‘soul nemesis’, opens with the intro Suokaste, acoustic and with whispering vocals, yet when Ei Kuoleman Arvoinen starts, it’s another kind of sonic art you will experience. Raw, primitive, lycanthropic, frosty, distorted and hateful Old School Black Metal in a comparable vein that once (I’m referring to two decades ago) made Scandinavia the summum of Musical Dark Art, yet of the filthiest kind (without getting retro-thrashing or sludgy, FYI)… It’s the kind of greasiness we do know from acts like Horna, Diaboli and even Vintersemestre (Finland), or Carpathian Forest, Mayhem, Diabolicum etc. (Scandinavia more generally), yet with a double-bind in between evident Chaos and own-faced Creation. Some parts really are heard-it-before-material, then again Förgjord surprise with original ideas, or just nice interventions (like: several slower parts, brute tempo-changes, fiery leads, an atmosphere that balances amongst spheres of pride, anger and misanthropy, uncommon excerpts (like the differing Tulilahti 1959), or the additional use of organ, synths, spoken words and acoustic guitars).
Minor detail, yet it’s beneath expectations: the sound. Generally seen it’s ‘underground’, yet only of some garage / subway quality. The mix is painful, the drums too tiny, too hollow, the backing strings too flat, no, it’s a murky element that does influence my final opinion (for what it’s worth, of course).