Review Summary: Fifty three minutes of boredoom, kicked off by the thirteen minute soundtrack of a man committing suicide on a beach during a cloudy day in late December.
When I first listened to The Forlorn, I had high hopes. I expected to immerse myself in a world like Closure. I expected to be enveloped in gloomy soundscapes littered with poignant acoustic fills and worlds torn open by visceral screams and then stitched back together with mournful clean vocals. Instead I leapt headfirst into a spewing sea of mediocrity, based on blunt growls and a bland arrangement of repetitive guitar lines. I came looking for a classic and found myself with a run-of-the-mill Doom album in Progressive Death Metal clothing.
Despite my earlier complaints, The Forlorn does contain many of the same sounds and emotions as Closure, but not in the right proportions. Each of the tracks is graced with a mellow acoustic interlude and the occasional background environment, such as the one in the beginning of Frailty. Unfortunately most of the interludes are placed in between seven minute intervals of boring tremolo picked riffs and one of the most monotonous vocal performances I have ever heard.
This album features none of the clean vocal sections of Closure, instead it is crammed full of shapeless and incomprehensible growls and the occasional bitter screams. With the loss of clean vocals, Ikuinen Kaamos loses a lot of its musical depth and suddenly a long enjoyable nine minute song becomes a sonic nightmare. If that wasn’t bad enough, the first two tracks are thirteen minutes each.
In addition to these failings, The Forlorn lacks the focused and beautiful melodies of Ikuinen Kaamos' later works. Whereas Closure was riddled with intricate lead guitar lines that could shatter a heart or draw tears to the eye, The Forlorn is comprised mostly of boring riffage that if not for its speed would be comparable to the dull melodies of Doom Metal. However, The Forlorn is gifted with a few outstanding guitar moments such as the melody lines of "Ascent" and the solo of "Fall." However, no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it's still a pig.
In a word, The Forlorn was nothing more than underwhelming. Instead of coming across as a beautiful work of art like Closure, it ends up being more like a Doom album being performed by overly competent Death Metal musicians. Fortunately, Ikuinen Kaamos has outgrown this bland immaturity, and I look forward to a new release this year.
An average release by an extraordinary band, 2.7/5
(Screw the rest)