Forgotten Tomb – Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love

If there's one hard sell in black metal, it's the kind further delineated through words like 'suicidal', 'hateful' (and or 'misanthropic'), or perhaps 'depressing'.  DSBM is usually an instant soul killer for most, no matter the level of anti-depressants in your blood.  You could be filled with months of mood-numbing psychotropics and it wouldn't make a pill of a difference.  Black metal itself has seen some mainstream plebeian support, but the suicidal variety, not so much.  Of course, as you can assume, that's the way we, and most people, like it.  But is it such a descent into mediocrity to suicidally "make it?"  Really?  Forgotten Tomb is easily one of the most recognized names in suicidal ideation, and they've made some strides that have irked the underground.  Ever since their 2000, solo EP Obscura Arcana Mortis they've gone through a number of changes in sound, which has been up for debate recently leading to a number of interesting flame wars around the clickbaitosphere.  We've followed these Italians for quite awhile, and reviewed their last full-length only a year ago, so we were enthusiastic about their upcoming Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love.  Surprisingly, we seem to be one of the few that actually enjoyed it for reasons that are rather trivial.

  

Why is that?  What're the arguments against it?  If you look around you'll hear a number of things, but you can pretty much expect what it's going to be, but allow us to summarize with bad English, since most metalspeds are good at that in comment box wars.  "Too meenstreem."  "Too moch prosductions."  "Their stuff frum teh womb wuz bettr."  You can easily mix those three creative snippets together to vary your responses, so please, have at it, but it's a great summary of the general criticism going around as well as a look into modern spelling.  But okay, we get it, you like things when no one else likes them, sure, you define yourself with your music, okay, great.  This is my band here and by God they can never get popular, ever.  And hey, we know, see, we usually don't review anything with more than 10,000 fans anymore, and usually even less than that is our focus, but sometimes, it's okay to enjoy something with more of a reach, especially when said band's been good to you, and so has their label over the years.  So let's drop the "they were better back when only I listened to them" because this is now, got it?  Your childhood is over your sniveling, whining fledging of a fan.  Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love is definitely refined and produced, there's no question about it.  This is nothing like the raw intensity when Forgotten Tomb was basically a one-man project.  However, the question is what is it today?

 

The same thing, idiots, just glazed to such an extent that you don't recognized the clay underneath.  You'll find the same depressive tone, that blade-to-the-wrists tension largely developed through harsh chording and spaces of acoustic desolation.  It's still here.  However, unlike their last one, Forgotten Tomb has created a much more poetic sense of space this time around.  Last time, well, we really only liked a few of the songs, the rest of it just kind of sunk under the surface.  Here, however, their development is fluid, it's just so regular it's going to turn some people off, and that cannot be ignored.  The majority of the tracks have that biting hatred we've always loved, but it's so clean it's almost against the very themes it revolves around, and there's really only one track where they mix it up, "Swallow the Void", which is an acoustic dip into spiritual decay.  But, remember, the reason for the general stagnancy most reviewers are feeling for this album is the production.  It's so solid that it simply seems more conventional than it actually is.  Further listens should draw out the structures to the point that you hear that same old Forgotten Tomb, just at level that's accessible, which can sting some of us.  The lyrics, however, put an end to that quickly, which is easy enough to prove with "Dread the Sundown", which speaks of infanticide, rape, and drinking innocent blood.  All that hate's still in there, trust us, don't let the production quality fool you.  Just because something's polished to a shimmer doesn't mean there isn't a rotting corpse with its throat slit underneath.  Sometimes suicide is best served behind a mask, it's more unexpected that way, which is sometimes more frightening.

 

Forgotten Tomb Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Forgotten Tomb – Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love
Agonia Records
4.4 / 5