Forgotten Tomb – …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil…

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Review by Jason Guest

Agonia Records

For their sixth full length album, this Italian blackened doom band has delved into the ever darker regions of their sound, continuing to beautify their depressive, nihilistic black metal with doom and gothic elements. The result is an album that though more accessible than their earlier works, is just as dark. Where last year’s Under Saturn Retrograde marked the band’s transition to their more, shall we say, “developed” style, stylistically, they still had a few creases to iron out. With …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil…, it appears that this transformation has been fully realised.

With blackened vocals cascading over the driving riffs of opener ‘Deprived’, it appears that Forgotten Tomb feel they have something to prove, particularly to those who may have baulked at their move into their new aesthetic. There are hints of Paradise Lost in the melodies and the scorched and torn landscape of the track’s cutting riffs and deep, doom-heavy grooves. Throughout the album, the band stretch themselves with the elaborate structures, melodic layering, and the melancholic and cataclysmic atmospherics. The long instrumental intro of ‘Cold Summer’ weaves a darkly atmospheric web of cold arpeggios, ferocious bass, and black riffs before the doom floods in for a track almost void of melody but awash with pain, torment and suffering.

That the doom-groove, bass-driven ‘Let’s Torture Each Other’ is melodic, catchy, and, would you believe, almost singable will perhaps be another nail in the coffin for the purists amongst their fan-base. But for those that remain, the acoustic passages of ‘Love Me Like You’d Love The Death’ add an interesting dimension to this melody-heavy track, the feel further enhanced by Algol’s bass incredible work. The clean singing of ‘Adrift’ again calls to mind Paradise Lost and is further enhanced by the way that the miserable melodies are layered over the gothic doom backdrop. But while the black metal aspect of ‘Nullifying Tomorrow’ is perfectly balanced with the melancholic, depressive and haunting melodic passages, it’s the title track, with its discordant, foreboding guitars atmospherically ringing out across the black, galloping riffs that is the album’s most accomplished track.

One key aspect to this album’s success is the solid production. Algol’s bass sounds magnificent, his deep tone imbuing his impressive playing and melodic lines with the kind of weight that sets this album apart. He plays a vital role in shaping this album’s sound and without him, this album would be nowhere near as effective. The song-writing is evolved, the structures elaborate, the arrangements intricate, and the impact is striking. With all but two of the tracks being between eight and nine minutes long, this can be an arduous listen, ‘Cold Summer’ in particular. But if it’s glorious melancholy in all its gothic doom underpinned with all the savage emptiness of black metal that you’re looking for, …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil… would be an excellent choice.

7.5 out of 10

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Track listing:

  1. Deprived
  2. …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil
  3. Cold Summer
  4. Let’s Torture Each Other
  5. Love Me Like You’d Love The Death
  6. Adrift
  7. Nullifying Tomorrow