Overoth’s grand vision is not only expressed in their music, but the artwork, for which they brought in Will Simpson, who was behind the artwork for Game of Thrones and DC Comics. “The Forgotten Tome” is Overoth’s second album release.
Even the track title “Sigil of the Empty Throne” suggests something dark and mysterious. And that’s what it is, as this piece proceeds heavily over its deathly course. Sinister strains accompany the patient march of “Winter of Iniquity”. It’s like a burden. But it’s begrudging progress, which doesn’t make for the most variable of listening. So too “The Keeper” and “God of Delusion” bludgeon on deeply and depict harsh landscapes and dark worlds. “Follow me to the gates of oblivion, beyond the shadow to the blackened abyss”, then goes the lyric of the title track. Musically I found it more expressive than most, which was a welcome development. Mystical weightiness runs through the religious-styled “Leviathan Swallowed The Sun” before a return to another death metal march “Mar The Gates”. It’s all about overwhelming power, or in this case blood red skies, intimidation and squealing minions. The pattern is the same. Symphonic tones run through “Harbinger of the End Times” and the guitar work is expansive, but the net result is the same. The odd bit of symphonic music, which is also to be found on “Shadows in a Thousand Shades”, doesn’t get over the fact that this is basically brutal, extreme, crushing death metal. The end is rousing but having been subjected to such harshness over the course of this album, I was numb to any sadness or sorrow it was now supposed to generate in me.
“Weighty” is the word I’d use to describe this album. I cannot criticise its uncompromising heaviness and crushing power, but epic and extreme as it all is, “The Forgotten Tome” didn’t break through any creative boundaries for me.
(6/10 Andrew Doherty)