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Not Excellent to Me... - 75%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, August 12th, 2008

The first two albums by this band were undoubtedly magnificent examples of how depressive black metal should be done. Don’t forget that Songs To Leave was one of the very first examples of this genre because the songs were written in 2000, but published just two years after. Anyway, I always loved the Forgotten Tomb’s music style and their approach to the negativism of life and people. Their will was to pervert and shock the audience through their music and less through their image and that’s a thing to appreciate a lot.

Love’s Burial Ground is the third sick seal by the band that this time has returned to Italy to record it (Springtime Depression was recorded at the Abyss Studios in Sweden). The production is a way between the first two albums because the instruments are less fuzzy, especially the drums, but the power of the volumes this time is more exalted without being so devastating like in the previous effort. All the instruments are very clear and I love it because I can’t stand the too fuzzy production for this genre. Forgotten Tomb can be sick and disturbing also with a clear and professional production.

This album also marks some changes in their songwriting and we can hear them very well. This time Herr Morbid has a brand new line up that would have continued also with the following Negative Megalomania. Maybe these changes influenced the music. But don’t worry; it’s always the same negative and misanthropic stuff. The intros “Malus Vivendi I-II” are something new for the band even if they don’t show anything particular, being strange and dark noises as preludes to the real songs. “Kill Life” is a goodish opener but far from the past compositions in the albums before. It has always the classic elements by this band but the up tempo parts are too cold and not in a good, depressive way while the arpeggios and the sudden down tempo are not so convincible like in the past, showing a lack inspiration.

The good or even great things come with the superb “Alone”. A masterpiece of sickness in music. The burden of grief and pain of this song is something Forgotten Tomb never did before, except for “Disheartened” song on the first album. The screams are full of pain and anger for an abandon and the guitars are always on slow marches, reaching the climax in two parts where the sounds are epic and internally devastating at the same time. The loss, the desperation are drowned in music and the lead guitars show no remorse for a shattered life, full of illusion, fast washed away. The dying heart has the sound of the slow drums and speaks through the voice of Herr Morbid.

Furthermore, to follow the step of the nostalgia and pain we find “House of Nostalgia”. This track is the second excellent one in a row of this album. The two greatest songs all together. The piano sound at the beginning is another new element by Herr Morbid and Co. It fits perfectly the music and when the guitars enter, the clean arpeggios follow the same notes. The tempo is again slow and massive as a black stone, a vision of a dark soul at night. The vocals run after each other in a continued growing and fading that binds them together. The acoustic parts where the arpeggios are the main sounds are full of gloomy screams but with the “refrain” we return to the pinnacle.

The title track has again the defect of lacking of depressive mood either during the fast parts, or during the slower. The darkness in these tracks is always present but it’s not “depression”. The pure internal sadness is less present to privilege the homage to darkness. Some guitars parts didn’t convince me either. The same thing can be said for the following “Slave To Negativity”. Somehow the arpeggios are not full of that old desperation of a condemned soul in a tortured body we could find in the past. It’s a pity because they are always good but not focused in a direction I appreciate. Sometimes, the maturity doesn’t go well with music and this is my PERSONAL though for these songs.

Some parts are too long and monotonous and they can’t transmit you the right feeling. I know that the depressive metal has always few riffs in long songs but somehow they should be “catchy” or evocative to be long and appreciable. The last “Forgotten Tomb MMIII” is shorter and faster and that is a good thing but once again I cannot feel the pain and desperation inside. The riffs are extremely powerful and surely more bound to the first EP by the band that was in fast black metal style. Anyway, we must give credit to a band that decided to start something different. In my humble opinion there are just two great songs here while the rest is not absolutely to throw away, but its’ not my cup of tea, if you know what I mean.

I’m sorry, maybe after two excellent albums I expected something more by this band but looking at the previous reviews it’s just a problem by me.