A new slice of depressive megalomania from Italian misery merchants Forgotten Tomb is always a welcome proposition. Even if musically they have gotten a bit less gloomy since their early more depressive days you can tell by the title of this their eighth full length album that they are just as misanthropic as ever. I think as they have evolved and got more into the swing of things there’s been a bit more of a pervading sense of humour attached to their work as well as a maturation of musical style so let’s not quite get the razorblades out yet and see what Herr Morbid and his troops of doom have in store for us this time around under that rather marvellous artwork.
Guitars literally slice angrily in and a big angst ridden roar comes out the speakers as opener ‘Soulless Upheaval’ angrily comes in and sets out to give you a damn good stabbing. It’s pretty fearsome and heavy as it scythes and chugs away with indignant vocals spitting contempt from every quarter. Under the extremity there broods a pretty hefty melody too and the blackness combines well with a doom laden break allowing the vocals to literally roar away and the instruments to get their groove on. It’s already made a blood stained mark and has me anticipating seeing the band at Doom Over London, which will probably have taken place before this review goes up. After some neat flowing guitar work we stomp into what for me is possibly the album’s standout number ‘King Of The Undesirables.’ Herr Morbid really puts on a fine display and the sinister melody spilling over into his leonine roars really hit the spot. It’s difficult not to get an image of the singer regally wallowing in his own filth, surrounded by favourite sharp implements with a soundtrack of favourite GG Allin songs which the band have lovingly covered and Der Todesking playing in the background to the hard hitting chorus here. It’s somewhat decadently debauched and a really massive groove laden thumping number. A slower doomier sound stalks out the speakers on the wings of a hefty death belch as ‘Bad Dreams Come True’ gets its talons in and spills you into nightmares. It’s just as deadly and grimed in filth with some incessant underlying guitar riffing enhancing the melodic thrust as drums crunch and it rumbles forth. A sudden burst of adrenaline sees it fly off for a while before those moody riffs come back and get you banging your head under their weight.
The title track is next heading towards hospital and then jail with glistening guitar work gleaming away like sharp blades and a slow tempo behind it all as it builds. Vocals growl and roar and it’s all a bit understated compared to a couple of other tracks on the album, more so than I was expecting. It’s best to just go with the flow and let it unravel like the sanity of a mental patient as it gets its tenuous hooks in. Much more in the face is ‘Mislead The Snakes’ which really rocks out with a leaden furrow riding away as it gets a black n roll groove all over it. Adding what sounds like a bit of emergency service panic recordings and a voice stating “I just don’t care” and some spiralling riffs on it enforces things neatly. The albums longest track ‘Dread The Sundown’ is a meaty moral to get the undead out the grave and feasting upon it. With the song title being spewed out and chaotic guitars with massive drumming thickly coating it all, this one made another instant impression upon me and as the singer announces all the nasty things he is going to do and it bursts into hate this is a fine way to go out. Well it would be but following is a 5 minute track gloomy acoustic guitar as the void is swallowed but you can always skip that bit.
Hate Yourself… took a few listens but once the fairly lengthy songs had wormed their way in repeated listens have had the album compulsively insisting on more and more plays. It’s probably everything fans of the band would expect and more and even if it left me smiling more than feeling miserable it’s a fine addition to the Forgotten Tomb’s musical cannon.
(8/10 Pete Woods)