Released: 2012, Hammer Of Hate
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
So after the long 4 year wait, here is the 3rd full length album from Finnish Black Metal band Forgjord entitled Sielunvihollinen (which apparently in English means Soul Nemesis). The Finnish duo consisting of Prokrustes on vocals and drums, and Valgrinder on guitars and bass, formed in 1995 and have been spreading their own unique brand of raw atmospheric Black Metal ever since, with their first full length album getting its release in 2006, the second in 2008 and now the long awaited follow up is finally here in 2012.
The album starts out with a really nice atmospheric folk inspired intro which wouldn’t sound out of place as background music in one of the many drinking taverns of Skyrim or somewhere like that, before launching into a barrage of raw, uncompromising Black Metal. I’ll say right away if you’re looking for well-polished and crisp production values then this is probably not going to be the album for you, but if you’re looking to hear some good traditional Black Metal that harks back to the ‘Old Way’ of doing things, then look no further than Forgjord!
The band kicks out amount of diversity in each song from the mid paced aggressive intro of Musta Lintu which has a really nice low end chugging riff to bring the track in before going very slow and doomy in the middle section where melodic vocals are also brought in to keep things atmospheric and then from there going into full speed blast beats and raw aggressive distorted Black Metal vocals. Another really good stand out track is the title track of the album “Sielunvihollinen “ which again blends a good mixture of tempos, melodic and catchy guitar riffs and aggressive atmospheric vocals to create a truly frostbitten Black Metal experience.
All in all I’d say that the album is good for those that really love their Black Metal and want to check out something more raw and obscure. The guitar riffs on the album are quite an interesting mix of fast aggressive picking on the blast beat sections and for the slower sections the riffs almost sound like something you’d hear in a more Traditional Metal environment, like a slow section from an old Dio album or something, but when you couple that with the Black Metal vocals it makes for a really interesting mix and only serves to create some really good songs in my opinion.
As for the production on the album… …well, I’ll be honest and say it isn’t brilliant, but then you would kind of expect that from this genre of music anyways, but for me personally I think if the production was cleaned up just a small amount (it obviously doesn’t have to be given the full ProTools treatment) then it would definitely help this albums overall rating. All the elements of a good Black Metal album are there, it’s just at times I think it’s difficult to get the right balance between raw and polished production when it comes to Black Metal and on this occasion it’s a shame that in my opinion it leans slightly too much towards the former.
If you long to hear some Black Metal that’ll keep your speakers fuzzy and you’re insides cold and frostbitten then by all means check out Forgjord and I think you’ll be happily satisfied!
Review by Joffie Lovett