|Review: Forgotten Tomb - Negative Megalomania|
Label: Avantgarde Music
Year released: 2007
Review online: February 27, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3.13/5 (62.5%) (8 Votes)
Forgotten Tomb should need no introduction, the band's name alone being a byword for consistent quality. With this, their forth full length release, they've hit yet another rich vein of form albeit in a more accessible way than ever before. This is not to mean that they've sold out or gone commercial - far from it actually, it's meant in the way that the band have become such a cohesive machine over their years together that they've pushed the bar to now dizzying heights not only for themselves, but for all other bands vying to create something even slightly as good as this.
The dark doom ridden landscapes are still there for all to see, but I wouldn't say this is nearly as depressive or dripping with decrepitude as their previous releases were. In fact, parts of it are even edging towards being upbeat believe it or not. This album sees a sleeker, streamlined Forgotten Tomb creating a more focused professional release in the form of 'Brave Murder Day' Katatonia styled musically. Polished, clean guitars shimmer melodies between crushing discordant distorted chords, while the vocals take on a life of their own. Did I mention that there are now clean vocals here? Yes, you read it right. Quite a lot of them in fact, ranging from heavy metal, almost Chris Cornell-like(!) screams to crooning soulless hatred drenched whispers, all mixed in with the old styled raw howls of pain and despondency. I mean, when would you ever have heard Herr Morbid scream a good ol' balls out "Guitars!!" right before a guitar solo kicked in?! Never before this album. There is, however, a lot less black for your money this time around, with the funereal doom elements being pushed very much to the forefront. There's obviously been a vast amount of concentration put into weaving together equal parts of melody and dissonance, which together never quite allow the aura of the album to slip into the ultra depressive, suicidal region the band used to plough so tirelessly. With all this talk of change, I'm glad to say that Forgotten Tomb haven't compromised their ability to pen an incisive riff or create a beautiful atmosphere, it's just done.. well… slightly differently at times to how they did it before. When all's said and done, it's still the same band playing the same music that they've always played; there are just a few daring new elements to their sound this time around. Nothing more, nothing less.
Of course it's inevitable that with evolutionary change comes controversy, and therefore this will no doubt be an album that will split the existing fan base in two. Some will hate the new proficient gloss of the band, while others will love the new elements, thinking that it's only making a good thing better. For me, it's business as usual for Forgotten Tomb. It's as simple as that.
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