A bit of Winter Depression from Italy’s finest miserablists, although it is fair to say they have gone down a bit more of a hateful route of late. Proving that there is a method to Forgotten Tomb’s madness ‘We Owe You Nothing’ their 9th album concludes their third trilogy which started back with ‘…and Don’t Deliver Us From Evil’ in 2012 and continued with ‘Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love’ in 2015. It’s suitably bitter stuff as one would expect and its mere seconds after pressing play that Herr Morbid unleashes his first fetid death rasp and squeezes your heart as the music swings into action on the title track. It’s instantly identifiable, incredibly strong in groove and melody and makes you want to grab the razorblades and get a slicing. Vocals have that wolverine sort of roar about them and the guitar work wraps itself around you like a tight noose constricting breath and tightening like a hangman’s loving caress. Sludgy down-tempo parts slither out with all the doom-laden gravidity of a Necrophagia like crawl and the tentacles of the flamboyant soloing rear up and wrap themselves around you once more. It’s a powerful opener and one that is likely to have you banging head and even growling along. The intricacy behind the playing from the trio sounds completely natural and already I simply can’t wait to see them playing this one live.
There’s only 6 tracks on the album but they are all fairly lengthy with plenty of breathing time about them, allowing them to spread their diseased fronds. The band are as ever not giving the listener an easy task to pigeonhole them, long gone are the days they can simply be lumped in with the DSBM mob, there’s death, blackness, doom and sludge all controlled in this caustic cauldron. Slow yet infinitely heavy the embittered vocals of ‘Second Chances’ at odds with the track title give you the opinion that none will be given here and why should they? If thy right eye offends thee pluck it out and having done so the track gallops off and steams away with the gory orbit in seeming jubilation of having cast down its enemy. A swarming mass builds like a plague of locusts as ‘Saboteur’ goes about its grizzly task, there’s something particularly nasty about the foul vibe it exudes and it’s the sort of track that makes you feel grimly uncomfortable about it all. Ugh indeed. There’s some meaty bass tones as it calms down and some definite depressive guitar tones, it does seem kind of wrong to make comparisons to Shining Sweden but there are moments that do prove them to be from the same sort of rank mould.
Wind-milling riffs twist and turn, tumbling over themselves on ‘Abandon Everything,’ it’s a giddy number where everything including the rapid-fire vocal delivery is sped up. Just as you are spinning out they drop a lush bit of acoustic fretwork into things and abandoning it all certainly doesn’t seem quite such a bad idea as the reflected beauty in nihilism is portrayed in this fashion. After injecting some ethnic sounding melody into ‘Longing For Decay’ the album finishes with a shorter instrumental track ‘Black Overture.’ Somehow though the natural way everything flows together doesn’t make this seem like a bad choice at all, besides the Morbid one really has given his larynx a big work out prior to it.
I can’t see the band re-inventing themselves now that they have drawn this trilogy to natural conclusion but let’s face it whatever they do next there’s going to be little in the way of narrative “love” going to be found either and we wouldn’t have it any other way. A solid bout of hate all the way here what’s not to like?
(8/10 Pete Woods)