The journey through the murky underbelly of Hungarian black metal continues. Today, with the help of the DIY label Autopsy Kitchen Records we have a totally kvlt reissue of Marblebog’s Forestheart.
Many a metal band record their first demos on tape only format and make them available only in a superlimited number of copies. Marblebog was no exception, as the originally released Forestheart was limited to only 500 CD copies back in 2005. The truth is, for many bands 500 copies would be 499 too many to be heard by people, but in the case of Marblebog the evidence of quality songwriting is there, its melancholic tremolo riffs are some of the best washing ashore in the sea of atmospheric black metal.
I had a chance to glance at the cover art before hearing the disc, so the intro’s Opening buried voice sounds like a wounded depressed animal who has gotten its feet caught in the frozen marsh which will never let go. I Am the Forestheart, the flagship track of the album, and A Tempest Never Calming Down present some of the most profound melancholic riffing I have heard in the last several years. For reference, although practically a one-man band, Marblebog (i.e., Vorgrov) sounds like Sapthuran with a ton more power or Nachtmystium on Demise with more nascent atmosphere. Acoustic riffs, guitars at times sounding like horns, arrangements, mouth harp, shaman drum of I Am the Forestheart, all of it combined with Vorgrov’s cutting voice, paint a complete picture of a lonesome wretched forest creature trapped in between the contradiction of forest’s beauty and forbidding nature. This track alone would have been worth the price of admission, or re-issue in this instance. I can certainly see how hearing this piece of music the label was getting in touch with Vorgrov asking for the rights.
While Howling of Purity is a lot less melodic, and is as kvlt as they come, title including, Flame of Wisdom borders on funeral doom with its slowdown pace and melody played on the occasion when the body is placed six feet under. Vorgrov has a chance to stretch and rip those vocal chords here, the animal inside of him getting his last earthy breathing chance to grunt and groan.
The album ends rather unexpectedly, when Closing quits its synth pattern of deep water bubbling and immersion, switching to a grim grating bass laden riff, which drones on for no less than the last 10 min of the record, minimalism coming out over the top. Some may construe it as experimentalism, others would hear guitar torture and repetition.
Forestheart is a fine example of a one-man black metal band, Eastern European or not, done right.
Killing Songs :
I Am the Forestheart, A Tempest Never Calming Down, Flame of Wisdom
|Alex quoted 85 / 100|
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