Förgjord – “Laulu kuolemasta”

Förgjord – “Laulu kuolemasta” (Werewolf Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Translated as ‘songs about death’, the title of this 5th album from Förgjord (whose name itself means ‘destroyed’) is as impressive as the 25-year reign of this cult Finnish black metal trio! Intentionally obscure and almost clandestine in issuing their releases, Förgjord have steadily forged a style over the years unfettered of rules yet confidently keeping to their own canon of being vicious yet melodic, while steadfastly raw throughout. “Laulu kuolemasta” is no less of an album, with 8 songs (plus 2 haunting interludes) that exude darkness and penetrating cold in line with the overpowering theme of death, while equally beguiling and even bewitching through the use of stirring Scandinavian melodies, Finnish spoken word and atmospherics. It’s no coincidence that in addition to the obvious destruction, there is also creation illuminated by the material reflecting Förgjord’s belief that ‘… when people accept death in their everyday lives, they don’t fear it anymore, and without fear, they can live finally free..’. To that end, Valgrinder’s (Marras, Njafrar, ex-Bestial Devastation, ex-Gaurithoth, ex-Pimeys) frosty chiming melodies accompanying Prokrustes Thanatos’s (Njafrar) twisted shrieks on ‘Ihtiriekko’ work a treat, taking an almost folky approach in its catchiness, although BLK’s blast beating avalanche is anything but jovial! Starting slowly through dirty warbling guitars and slow bass on ‘Kostonhetki’, Thanatos’s ghostly echoes chime superbly with BLK’s cymbals before a deep riff heralds the speed that despite the frantic double bass drumming, never loses its strong epic thread, thus making this another standout number. With tribal drums opening ‘Ruotta’, Valgrinder’s gargantuan bass line is nothing short of gripping especially when his energised guitar joins in to add to the catchy bombast of decadence into which Thanatos’s cat screeching adds its final, chilling touch in sickly spew – brilliant! ‘…so death has many different kinds of faces, and “Laulu kuolemasta” is our homage to it – that universal power that’s as strong as life itself….’
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