Italy’s blackened sludge / doom band Forgotten Tomb are about to release their tenth full-length Nihilistic Estrangement via Agonia Records. Until now, yours truly has never really dived into the music of this three piece. Being swayed by a description, a pretty album cover and a few song samples, this album seems like the right place to start.
The mid-tempo, groove laden song “Active Shooter” kicks off the record. During these eight minutes, the listener is treated with repetitive guitar melodies and a tempo that gives it a lethargic vibe. The black ‘n roll elements and the bass bring in some sway and salvage the track from being monotonous and make it kind of exciting.
“Iris’ House Pt. I”, continues in a raw, darker vain and is stripped of the earlier flourishing rock ‘n roll influences. The dominant force on this song are the vocals, switching between rough vocals and a narrating voice. With minimal components, Forgotten Tomb create a dark, dense soundscape, which is quite nice.
Having heared to this record several times now, a track such as “Iris’ House Pt. II”, that can’t hold this listener’s attention. The backbone of this piece: droning, blackened sludge rhythms with a somewhat forced interlude are simply not enough.
After “Distrust3” continues in a more direct and sludgy vain, it’s the title track that brings relief. Very much unlike what one has been hearing, the soaring guitar lines could be imported from a (raw) post metal track. Interestingly, this song has also been chosen as the first single, which probably gives any listener a very different idea about Nihilistic Estrangement when hearing the album in full.
Album closer “RBMK” aims to be a culmination of all the elements on this full-length. A few post metal melodies seep through, as well as the commanding raw, black ‘n roll influences from the other tracks. Unfortunately the song does not seem to reach a zenith and six minutes down the line, there isn’t a lot that stuck.
While ‘Nihilistic Estrangement’ has its good moments, it’s overall a record that does not entice yours truly enough to revisit. A fan of blackened sludge metal might find more to enjoy here, but it may as well be just mediocre.
1. Active Shooter
2. Iris’ House Pt. I
3. Iris’ House Pt. II
5. Nihilistic Estrangement