FordarvI really enjoyed the debut CD ‘The Echo Of Emptiness’ which landed my way earlier this year from this Swedish duo. It really hit the spot purveying a classic Scandinavian raw blackness which harked back to the early years of the scene. Naturally I was pleased to find the quick follow up ‘Between The Eternities’ winging its way to me to see if the pair of Gast and En had progressed since their first offering. Thankfully the answer is no! This style needs no progression thank you very much and what we get here is more of the same and it’s equally as good if not better than its predecessor.

First thing to strike was the wonderful artwork, it reminded me of that used on the excellent Judas Iscariot 2002 release ‘To Embrace The Corpses Bleeding’ and could all be part of the same journey embarked upon by death. Apparently this piece is done by Zdzisław Beksiński and looking at his Facebook I can see that he was a visionary artist who also penned the sleeve for the last Kampfar album Djevelmakt too. Anyway I’m going off tangent but it really does give an idea of the atmosphere within the music that aptly starts with death itself incarnated by the malevolent buzzing of flies.

From there heavy Swedish melodicism tinges things and then it is full on unhinged rage as ‘Legions Of Death’ literally flies in and sets about biting your fucking face off. This is rampaging musical destruction played at full scything pelt with the added ferocious vocal rasps really spitting venom along with the flailing music. Still it retains a sense of melody amidst it all and has the spirit of fellow legionary Swedes Marduk tearing through it. Jagged creeping riffs ooze into ‘Taedium Vitae’ as the throttle is eased off and atmosphere builds. Drums rumble away like thunder as pressure builds and this musical weariness of life is replicated in a grandiose fashion before everything again explodes in a welter of hatred. It really is life affirming, at odds with any thoughts of giving up, suggesting it is far better to go out in a blaze of glory. The track is dense and well thought out combining both styles and showing that Fördärv have more than one dimension to their sound. A Long instrumental passage furrows out a raw primitivism that harks back to sounding like an early jam by Dark Throne and it’s difficult not to play along with the tight riffs and head-bang away before that huge fury erupts again tearing the track to a bloody vengeful conclusion.

Tracks are generally long with just six taking up a running time of 40 minutes but they flow so well there feels no need to trim things down at all here as they suck you into their depths with a fluid progression. At times it is all about the rage as ‘Putre Factio’ bludgeons and steamrollers over you in deadly precise attacking mode launching a death belch for maximum damage along the way. At others such as ‘Darkness Of The Eternal Winter’ they inject plenty of bouncing grooves and thundering drum rolls that judder away and hit like they are searching for the enemy before a full salvo is launched and everything is flattened. Entering the last track ‘As Life Turns Black’ with a real fist slamming swagger about it there’s plenty of power provided before the track again bristles and slaps round the face tearing off like the hounds of hell are on its tail. Moving into slow stygian cold atmosphere, then a mid-pace clamour there is plenty of diversification again keeping this all fresh.

This album has been getting a daily play since it arrived and I can see that it’s one that has a fervour that won’t grow old for some time. Fördärv play some of the best and most authentic black metal I have heard in some time, accept no trends or imitations!

(8/10 Pete Woods)