Forgjord have been around since the mid 90’s, lurking in the Finnish Black Metal underground . In true BM fashion their output has hardly been prolific – Ilmestykset being their fourth long player. However what they lack in volume of product they certainly make up for in volume of sound and metal chutzpa. Interestingly for a Black Metal band releasing on the proudly Luciferian label Werewolf Records the album – which translates to “Revelations” has as its inspiration the Akerblom Movement of the early 20th Century. This was a cult like sect that centred around a 12 year old girl Maria Akerblom who became ill then began to preach in her sleep. People lapped this up and got on board the hype train and a minor religious rebellion occurred in Finland with members allegedly shooting a policeman and committing various crimes of violence and theft. (Lords of Chaos for the Lord anyone? Not a bad tale to take inspiration from then.
Musically Forgjord intersperse the album with cinematic samples and atmospheric effects which juxtapose wonderfully with the visceral spiky rage the trio espouse.
After an eerie (if a little too long ) intro, first track proper Orjahuoran Laulu crashes in sounding at first like a Wagons era Darkthrone number before unleashing unbridled chaos with rasping vocals and human cries over a furious riff. This all before slowing things down to an organ backed doomy groove with effect laden spoken passage. Dark, creepy, enticing, this is what I want from my black metal. The guitar break when it comes is soaringly beautiful backed with both a hymn-like vocal and a demonic rasp. It is strangely toe-tapping and hummable whilst being ice cold and brutal.
Karsikko is a two minute romp in the dark with a mix of raw punk attitude and brooding atmospheres. Reminds me of Abigail. The punk aesthetic continues with Maailma Palaa which has a strangely hardcore/steet punk drum beat driving much of its verses. Massive organs (ooh err) and choral sections keep the quasi religious feel alive and Prokrustes Thanatos sounds more devilish than ever and the maelstrom continues on Kaksitoista Kuolemaa.
Thankfully Thanatos with his compatriots BLK (drums) and Valgrinder (guitars and bass) offer up some respite with the cinematically acoustic lilt of Surmanluodit before the next track makes me jump out of my seat like the head bob scene in Jaws. Kin’ hell! Nearly threw pop all over my keyboard ya buggers. Pohjolan Soturi is a spiked gauntlet to the balls which then grabs the throbbing orbs and tosses the listener into a crazed seventh circle pit of hell. A delicious thrashy riff beats your grasping hands back into the maelstrom.
For an album that oozes atmosphere and grandeur alongside melody and brutality the final track Kaikkivaltias which translates to Supreme Being does not disappoint. A brooding opening builds amid angular riffs before being finally punctuated by three drum crashes and a clap of thunder.
A thoroughly enjoyable gallop through Finland’s dark heart. This trio make a wondrous cacophony.
(8/10 Matt Mason)