FordarvThis is some authentic Scandinavian black metal here, which certainly harks back to bygone times and is reminiscent strongly in structure to the aesthetic developed by the 2nd wave of bands developing in the early 90’s. Fordarv are fairly new despite their sound and the Swedish duo comprising of Gast and En have an air of mystery about them, wanting to remain anonymous. Their name translates as ‘perdition’ or ‘ruin’ and music has an evocative feel that is barren and stripped down about it. Apparently they are rapidly assembling new material in the form of forthcoming album ‘Between The Eternities’ but this is their debut album, which saw the light towards the beginning of the year.

There is a feeling of demo like quality about the production but it is well recorded with sharp tones about the guitars which are heavily prolific and thorny as we enter ‘The Breathless Sound Of Silence.’ Completely sinuous very much like the group’s veiny logo they spread with a dismal air of abandonment about them. Drums are added and wind blows around adding a cold and sinister atmosphere that is a stark as tone of the music. Suddenly a feudal and vigorous cleaving sound sees ‘The Echo Of Emptiness Part I’ pick up the pace and surge onwards with melodic mesmerism drawing you fully into the void. Vocals finally shriek in, thick and defined in the mix and there is a jaunty feel to things and a bloodthirsty hunger behind it all. This has the primitivism that one would no doubt hope for behind it but there is an overriding sense of melody too as the repetitive guitar clamour really digs in and tenaciously drives away. The two part title track is the main emphasis of this 26 minute disc but is broken up by some atmospheric parts between it and book ending the album. Gloom, doom and sorrow are invoked on ‘Void’ an acoustic guitar piece that’s both beautiful and bereft before the second part of ‘Echo…’ shrilly takes up the charge again with a controlled fist-slamming and highly charged feel coursing through it. Building up and speeding away it’s a giddy and furious ride taking you off on a hairy, compelling gallop spurred on by the pummelling drums and ever flowing guitar weave. The vocals are again fierce and commanding and used in just the right amounts as the song swiftly and purposely strides on to an epic but not in the slightest overplayed 9 minute running time. Closing the gate is …In A Neverending Whisper,’ shrouding this involving listen in more spiky cold atmosphere before inevitably silence is once more restored.

I have given this quite a few plays although it took just the one to really impress and give me a clear indication of where Fordarv were coming from. I guess the immediacy and strong sense of purpose and atmosphere here kept drawing me back. It’s going to be interesting to see where they go from here although I don’t expect Fordarv to particularly evolve stylistically as this is an act that has that is firmly rooted in the olden ways. If you are hungering for this, they are well worth checking out.

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)