Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love

Forgotten Tomb

As far as Blackened Doom goes, Mediterranean miserablists FORGOTTEN TOMB are about as big and […]
By Danny Sanderson
April 16, 2015
Forgotten Tomb - Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love album cover

As far as Blackened Doom goes, Mediterranean miserablists FORGOTTEN TOMB are about as big and as good as they come. The band, originally formed in 1999 as a one man affair by Herr Morbid after leaving his previous outfit, have gone from strength to strength with each release, and really hit their stride with their previous album, "...And Don't Deliver Us From Evil", which gained them wider attention and critical acclaim from both fans, journalists and peers alike. Whenever a band produces a record of this magnitude, one obvious question naturally comes up; can they follow this up with something that is equal, if not better, than its predecessor. Luckily for both the band and fans, their eighth full length, "Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love", is a masterpiece in its own right, and might just be one of their best releases to date.

The opening track, "Soulless Upheaval", has a very strong, dissonant intro section, and the whole track is essentially a really progressive Black Metal track. It's one ferocious, dark and foreboding wall of noise that sounds really amazing. The guitar sound, which like I said, is rooted quite strongly in Black Metal, has a lot of Gothic and Doom elements thrown in for good measure, which only adds to the aura and presence of this track, and the rasping, tar-like vocals cut across the top very well. The guitar solo stands as one of the focal points of this beast of a tune, and has some amazing, spine-tingling sections that really help set the album up before the track fades away. The song that immediately follows it, "King of the Undesirables", is a mid-paced, discordant epic with the closest thing you'll get to sing-along vocals in a Blackened Doom band. The drumming that backs it is confident and fierce, and helps drive the string section forward on its relentless dirge. All the aspects of the songs music are brought to the fore at least once, including the bass, which becomes more prominent and heavier towards the end of the track. "Bad Dreams Come True", is somewhat fittingly enough, all my dreams for a great Doom-laden track brought to fruition. It's main riff is a thick, groovy guitar line that almost drones as the song kicks into gear. There's a lot more amazing, Black Metal tinged guitars, before it becomes an all out Black Metal beast in its own right, if only for brief intervals as it ebbs and flows between this blistering Black Metal brilliance and the original guitar motif. It fades away in a flare of speed and vicious drum beats. And then we come to this albums title track, which opens at a crawl and builds into what I suspect will become a cornerstone of their live set in the near future. This is a slow-burner, and without even realising it, this track becomes much more powerful as it progresses.

"Mislead the Snakes" has a lot to offer as well, and grabs your attention much more forcefully than its predecessor. The great rhythms, the even greater leads and the sharp and gnashing vocals help to establish this particular tune as one of the stand-out pillars of this record. The Doom Metal influences on this track are noticeably more present than on many of the other tracks on this record, and ultimately sounds like a collaboration between Doom and Black Metal legends that never occurred. "Dread the Sundown" is another mid-tempo song, with the cold, eerie atmosphere that every good Black Metal song should have on it. The cleaner guitar lines and the progressive approach to the music all make this an awesome track, and help stop this from falling into mediocrity as many slower Black Metal tracks are prone to do. By this points, we've experienced slow and fast, heavy and dissonant, and the other numerous sections of this bands sound that make them brilliant. And then we come to the albums closing number, "Swallow the Void"; this is a very strong track with a foreboding atmosphere that cloaks the whole track. This instrumental track is built around not only the aforementioned atmosphere, but also a great, minimalist guitar line that works really well with the ambiance that backs it. It's actually quite mellow and relaxing, and is a great way to wind down this amazing album.

As I said at the start of this review, this is a band that is going from strength to strength with each and every release they put out, and this is arguably one of their strongest albums yet. This is no small compliment, as some of the previous albums that this band have done are future classics of the genre, and have garnered the band a cult following worldwide. This album might just take them to the forefront of the scene, and see them play to larger and wider audiences the world over. This album is highly recommended.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love" Track-listing:

1. Soulless Upheaval
2. King of the Undesirables
3. Bad Dreams Come True
4. Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love
5. Mislead the Snakes
6. Dread the Sundown
7. Swallow the Void

Forgotten Tomb Lineup:

Herr Morbid- Vocals, Guitars
Algol- Bass
Asher- Drums
A.- Lead Guitars

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