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Review: Marblebog - Forestheart

Label: Independent
Year released: 2005
Duration: 45:07
Tracks: 6
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: January 13, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating

Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (6 Votes)

After the bands' recent re-issues onto CD of their debut album and their split with Hunok, comes this Hungarian trio's third and most recent release. Originally recorded between 2003 and 2004, Marblebog's latest effort is stylistically similar to their first album, with elements of their second release (which was a totally atmospheric dark ambient record, similar to Mortiis) mixed in for good measure. Featuring a member of the equally excellent Hungarian band Dusk, Marblebog play a bitter brand of mid to slow tempo, mesmerizing black metal (save for the first track, and the beginning of the last track, which are well composed ambient pieces which fit in perfectly with the overall aura of the album).

Replete with some of the most ear piercingly tormented vocals I have heard since Burzum's agonized howls graced my ears, the band have seemingly managed to compress and hone their astringent hatred into the perfect musical format, the result being utterly hypnotic and absorbing, dragging you kicking and screaming into a void bristling with revulsion and disgust, where hope and optimism are a long gone shriveled memory. The morose echoing melodies, and achingly rhythmic riffs on display throughout this album serve only as a fist in the face of every human to have walked the planet, especially notable on the harrowing second track 'I am the Forestheart', which is brimming with sorrow and melancholy, as if an ancient, forgotten forest itself had somehow managed to become a sentient collective, making use of its surrounding vines, roots and stumps as instruments to express its dissatisfaction of humankind's destruction of our planet. But this is not all that is on offer here, there is also the bonus of the second half of the thirteen minute plus final track 'Closing', which shows the band in a more experimental mood, sounding more like a drone doom track, with nothing but a dirty distorted bass guitar, ethereally tearing strips from the fabric of the universe, note by cavernous note.

You need to pick this album up, not only because Marblebog are without doubt the most impressive band to hail from their native Hungary, but the fact that they have consistently managed to release albums that take you to another plane of existence for their duration. Incredible.

Other related information on the site
Review: Forestheart (reviewed by Ktb)
Review: Forestheart (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Interview with Vorgrov on January 1, 2007 (Interviewed by Lars Christiansen)
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