without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Finnish band Forlorn Chambers are a rather mysterious entity, with little that is really known about them other than their country of origin. But their first demo release Unborn and Hollow shows how the whole point of their existence is in their music rather than their identity, with three short songs quickly proving their point.
Fitting to the mood on the album artwork, Unborn and Hollow is a rather melancholic journey, with the first few notes that greet the listener breeding a sense of longing in the listener. Even as the band goes into overdrive and the first aggressive notes come in, the band manages to retain that sense of melody and sadness in their music, and one is quickly reminded of early Paradise Lost and similar death/gothic/doom bands with the broody mood and atmosphere that lingers. There are even some slightly blackened touches throughout as well, reminding one of the more melancholic and depressive black metal bands.
It doesn’t take long for one to notice the songwriting skills of Forlorn Chambers as well, with the songs fusing equal parts of brutality, aggressiveness and sensitivity in terms of the moods and emotions, making for Unborn and Hollow to be a rather enjoyable listen. If anything, the only complaint about this release is the short length, with the three tracks coming under 15 minutes, rather uncharacteristic of such style of music.
Forlorn Chambers are a mysterious band that have just recently popped up from Tampere, Finland. Their official website gives no indication to who the members are, no press pictures, or how many people the group consists of; it could very well be a one-man-band for all the public know. A press paper that I received with the physical demo states that the act formed in 2012, are of the death metal variety, and that is pretty much it. Unborn and Hollow is the first demo from Forlorn Chambers, what are audiences in store for from these cryptic newcomers?
The production on Unborn and Hollow has a slightly raw quality to it that endows the gritty, pessimistic tone of the overall content. The musical compositions are tight and fluid, all three instruments work seamlessly with one another to create a gloomy atmosphere which leaves an unforgettable impression on the listener. The guitar comes equipped with a small variety of techniques that find themselves to be reused but effective since the riff structures are unique from track to track. Tremolo picking, palm muted power chords, slow strumming, eerie picking and melodic solos all make an appearance throughout the album, but the material is heavy with semi-distorted picking and solo sections which makes the experience essentially feel more melodic than anything else. The bass contributes majorly to the album, it interacts outstandingly with the guitar, the deep bass lines can be heard swiftly changing among frets in time with the guitar riffs and sometimes even overpowers the guitar. The drumming unites blast beats, double bass kicks and a wide variety of creative beats that vary in tempo according to the guitar; the drums are constantly heard switching up rhythms in the background and primarily keep the tracks fresh. The vocals are profoundly deep in tonality, they often give off low pig squeals and melodious chants; all of which cause the demo to come off with an unending feeling of abandonment and hopelessness as the despairing growls reach into the depths of ones soul. There is, what would be a really powerful, long growl at the beginning of "And We Hail the Ones Who Fall" that falters due only to the amiss mixing. Another growl similar to the one heard in the aforementioned track is more prominently clearly in "Desolate Resolution", but the mixing still gets in the way of just how potentially dynamic the vocals can be. More adequate mixing in the future can prevent this issue and cause the content to be a lot more impacting.
Unborn and Hollow is an admirable first demo from Forlorn Chambers; it sets a very dark, hopeless, immersive mood that fails to disappoint. The vocals are incredible, haunting, and just like the band name states they are also forlorn. This also applies for the overall song melodies, which are original and impacting. The only downside to this demo is the mixing, which hinders each instrument as well as the vocals and prevents them from being as dynamic as they should be, given their respective potential. An extremely worthwhile experience, you yourself can check out the Forlorn Chambers demo in its entirety on the band's official Soundcloud page. Highly recommended, don't let the mixing deter you from listening.
- Villi Thorne