Forgjord
Ilmestykset


4.0
excellent

Review

by Voivod STAFF
July 14th, 2019 | 19 replies


Release Date: 04/19/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is nowhere.

Among the many and far between ancient civilizations and their osmosis that established the foundations of modern world, Greeks have always been an important part of the process. Long before their plummet to decay during the Roman/Byzantine era, the universal trait culminated in the region, was the perpetual (not always peaceful though...) loop of improvement through moderation and review. Apart from critical sectors such as the rule of law, the pattern extended to social interactions between citizens. For example, wine making and drinking were imported from Asia and the Middle East, but ancient Greeks introduced its dilution with fresh water prior to consumption. Technical avails aside, the process secured civility and spiritual expansion among symposia attendants through drinking with moderation (sic). Excluding the Dionysian festivities where a more energetic behavior was expected from participants, the consumption of crude or diluted wine in excess, was considered a barbaric habit, as it increased the possibility of uncontrolled inebriation and disorderly, criminal even, conduct. Now, if someone were to believe what the Finnish black metal purveyors Förgjord posit in an interview for their latest album Ilmestykset in Occult Black Metal Zine blog, the aforementioned “cause and effect” dipole, duly condensed in the term “perkele” (herein translated as “possessed by evil spirits”), has been rather frequent in Finland throughout the 20th century.

The cabin on the album cover could legitimately point to US “rural” black metal, although of late, European black metal outfits with an avowed admiration for mountainous landscapes (France’s Hyrgal are highly recommended), have recently started to follow suit. Rather, it is a snapshot of a murder crime scene from the early '30s, related to the aforementioned Finnish excess drinking folklore, in which perpetrators and victims were in no position to remember how everything lapsed to the point of no return. Lyrically, the album concept is casually attached to the “revelations” (“Ilmestykset”) of Finnish self-proclaimed, “in a state of sleeping trance” prophet Ida Maria Åkerblom (one of several in the region). A virtual precursor for individuals such as Charles Manson, she emerged in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, during which the Finnish folk, being subject to the crumbling Czar, was struggling/striving for hope and spiritual guidance, thus cramming the congregations of her own and similar local movements.

Referencing a verse from Neil Young’s song (Everybody Knows) “This Is Nowhere”, both afflicting settings in which Ilmestykset is shrouded – alcohol-driven and religious extremism – can be safely characterized as such. In terms of the actual music, the Finns claim that the “(this is) nowhere” notion bodes with their album-to-album evolution; the present is king, the past is as if it never existed, what’s important is the spendthrift of whatever stock of spontaneity and inspiration are available for the song writing process. In hindsight, this is partially true for their back catalog, as various idiosyncratic imbalances are evident in terms of sound work, arrangements, individual performance etc., that gradually form more structured material, as the releases pile up. Leitmotifs inherited from album to album, are the lo-fi production, the melodies that persist in spite, the completely “torn” vocals, the disparity between the atmospheric, ritual, rock n’ roll and pure black metal parts of a song, the initially unreasonable pivoting between the mentioned segments which becomes slightly more comprehensible with stacked listens, the short temporal duration of every track list and so on.

Ilmestykset constitutes a singularity in Förgjord’s overall work due to the excellent development and integration of the traits that surfaced therein, especially the immediate predecessor Uhripuu. The texture of the sound work is coarse grained as always, but it consciously allows for the body of atmospheric lead guitar (bordering post metal at times) melodies to form a worthwhile contrast. The album is salted with samples of eerie cinematic echos, which rouse the spirits and amplify the lyrical content written in the band’s mother tongue. Despite the sound’s nominal black metal imprint, genre-specific elements such as blast beating and tremolo riffing, have been largely pushed in the rear, whereas they are blended with seemingly alien elements. Prevalent for the first time, is an intriguing progressive/hard rock/rock n’ roll hybrid, which manifests itself through prolonged temporal durations (“Orjahuoran Laulu”), “calm before the storm” interludes (“Pohjolan Soturi”), and arrangements whose components consist of the previous affair Uhripuu, Mercyful Fate, Motorhead, Better Off Dead-era Sodom, and hard rock in the progressive vein of the sophomore The Devil’s Blood album. What’s important is that Ilmestykset can be heard back-to-back or in piecewise binge sessions; the author of this review recalls having “Maailma Palaa” on repeat, when it was released as a single. In general, if black metal, concept themes and fruitful experimentation with other genres are demanded from a single release, Förgjord’s fourth album is a critical choice for the current year and beyond.



Recent reviews by this author
Sun of Nothing The Guilt Of Feeling AliveStereo Animal Problema
Molok SaltSuper Stereo 3
Trial (SWE) MotherlessThe Sonic Dawn Into the Long Night
user ratings (6)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2019


8434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album stream:

Bandcamp - http://werewolfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ilmestykset

YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_VoCdD7U2s



Constructive criticism is most welcome.



Review would have been reduced to a mere soundoff, were it not for the band's only online interview for this album (in Occult Black Metal Zine - http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2019/05/forgjord-interview.html) which helped overcome the otherwise insurmountable language barrier regarding the origins of the artwork and concept, the latter analyzed in detail by a dedicated social science study (http://journal.fi/scripta/article/view/67087).

Digging: Apparatus - Yonder Yawns the Universe

Dimorphic
July 14th 2019


994 Comments


Dude. Nice.

Digging: Sacred Son - Arthurian Catacombs

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2019


15648 Comments


stunning review voivod. i'll definitely be checking this.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2019


8434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks guys, check it out and let me know what you think.

Hawks
July 15th 2019


73572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gotta hear this.

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 15th 2019


32092 Comments


I'm sure I'd never bother with this but I just had to stop by and vocalize my appreciation for that album art. Review is great too, nice work.

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2019


8434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

^^Yeah, the art was the first thing that got me into the album. I was fortunate enough to find background info in (broken) English about its origins, because I don't expect to overcome the Finnish language barrier in this lifetime haha (never say never though :-P)



Compared to their discog, it is their more melodic and epic album yet, but yeah, its target crowd is more or less the (raw/lofi) black metal one, I'm afraid.

DungeonBoy
July 15th 2019


6625 Comments


not sure what I just read, but stoked to jam this m/

Digging: Solstice (USA-FL) - Solstice

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2019


8434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

^^Granted, it's a lot to take in, especially with a first, possibly cursory read, but trust me, in view of the literature listed in my introductory comment, all the pieces in the review are relevant to each other.

Hawks
July 15th 2019


73572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This RIPS.



Finnish bm for the fucking win as always. m/

butt.
July 17th 2019


4770 Comments


"I'm sure I'd never bother with this but I just had to stop by and vocalize my appreciation for that album art."
came here to say the same thing. album art like this always grabs me immediately, and then the music usually ends up being too lo-fi to be memorable for me. but I will still give it a shot! great review too btw

Hawks
July 17th 2019


73572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It’s pretty low-fi but it riffs so ahrd.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2019


8434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

and then the music usually ends up being too lo-fi to be memorable for me



I hear you, this is the case indeed with some extremely obscure US (mostly) black metal albums, where the noise merely conceals the lack of musicianship and song writing skills.



Here though, every sonic hill and valley is perceivable, although obviously rugged.



Their other albums are more lo-fi, compared to this one.

butt.
July 17th 2019


4770 Comments


cool, I'll let you know what I think. Fingers crossed

manosg
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2019


11743 Comments


Great review. The Mercyful Fate/Motorhead/Sodom comparisons look very promising.

Digging: Cellar Darling - The Spell

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2019


8434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

^^Under the hood, this is an atmospheric hard rock/rock n' roll affair, soaked in noise with black metal vocals and in concert with traditional black metal, hence the references and recommended albums.



For example, the opening of "Orjahuoran Laulu" is analogous to Sodom's "The Saw Is The Law".

Crysis
Emeritus
July 19th 2019


17402 Comments


"Kaksitoista Kuolemaa" rules

mifzal
July 21st 2019


3338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can already tell this is good.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2019


11733 Comments


Looks cool



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy