Monday, October 07, 2013

Fōr: Blakaz Askǭ Hertô (EP 2013)

Askǭ Hertô? I Barely Knew Hertô!

Note to promoters: I’m a sucker for foreign words with letters that have been pimped-out with extra squigglies and shit. I think most metalheads are, going back at least as far as Secret Treaties or so.

The Swedish band Fōr is one of those who give out no information about themselves. I don’t know whether that’s a gimmick or perhaps they just don’t want co-workers, family, and Social Services to know they’re making this kind of music. The band previously released a full-length, and EP Blakaz Askǭ Hertô is their second attempt to channel the Elder Gods.

Focusing on “The Ravenous Chasm” and “Descending Obfuscated Realms,” this is some seriously demented, lo-fi blackened death metal. It’s got a Portal-esque guitar tone and tremolo-picking style (sans the descent-into-madness spiraling riffs). It’s got Onward to Golgotha production and general sepulchral sound. The vocals are as completely unintelligible and demonic as they should be. In short, I think this makes them the second band I’ve ever compared to a combination of Portal and Incantation, and should grab the attention of anyone who likes those or similarly broken death metal.

The rest of the EP is a little uneven. The opening track is three minutes of eerie, evil drone, which is kind of cool. But “Chthonian Initiation” goes in a death/doom direction, becoming aimless and exposing the limp drum sound for what it is. Closer “Lineage of the Amorphous” goes through five minutes of boredom before bringing the death.

Despite its flaws, did I still listen to it three times in three days? Yes. Did I do so enthusiastically? Yes. Do I want more? Absǭlutely.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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