Forgjord - Sielunvihollinen
Hammer Of Hate
Black Metal
8 songs (46'57")
Release year: 2012
Hammer Of Hate
Reviewed by Alex

Forgjord means "destroyed" in Swedish, but the band is Finnish, with a capital F. Hailing from the stable Hammer of Hate is steadily assembling, Forgjord spans the range of various subgenres of Finnish black metal, of which I have slowly become a fan as of late.

The promosheet did promise the presence of kantele and synth, in addition to cold raw soundscapes and harsh atmospheres. Sielunvihollinen (Soul Nemesis) does deliver in terms of raw and harsh, but those "guest" spots are a little exaggerated. Frankly, beyond the intro Suokaste I could not hear any kantele, but the native instrument is not what this album is about anyway.

As soon as Suokaste is over Forgjord goes where they really want to, into the shrill and scathing guitar sounds of Ei Kuoleman Arvoinen, peppered with the somewhat tinny sounding blasts yet compounded with the soul ripping, vocorder processed, muffled-up vocals. If the album, however, was all about grimness, it would be another paint-by-numbers entry into the myriad of similar outputs. Unlike many of those artists Forgjord has an interesting knack of crushing things down completely and unexpectedly in the blackened doom abyss when you least expect it. Going from Horna to Ajattara (without the eerie keyboards) is something Forgjord does over and over, track after track. As a result their compositions take longer, as they need to develop fully. Yet it is worth it to hear Musta Lintu to progress from grinding catchy thrash to blackened doom to the most rousing melody epitomizing Finnish pride.

As a result of all those changes in their songs Forgjord come off as masters of mood swings. Niin Lihassa kuin Veressa begins as another devastating and horrifying track, but then it becomes almost nervous it is so chaotic, before ending up on a desponded note. The band can set you up and build it from the moody acoustics (Sudeksi Syntynyt, Viimeinen Myrsky) to melodies smacking of desperation and pride at the same time. Forgjord gets you conditioned that things will not be linear and will change, to the point when excellently melodic title track rolls along, you are almost disappointed it does not contain a twist of one way or the other.

Sielunvihollinen is still a very raw and harsh sounding record, just like, I am sure, the duo behind Forgjord intended it to be. Its main attributes, however, may not be just brutal, filthy, melancholic or melodic, but be all of those things at the same time, and combine them into the bipolar mixture of their own.

Killing Songs :
Musta Lintu, Sudeksi Syntynyt, Sielunvihollinen, Viimeinen Myrsky
Alex quoted 74 / 100
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