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Modernization in Moderation - 83%

TheStormIRide, February 9th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Schattenkult Produktionen (Limited edition)

Forgotten Remains is the debut release from the Dresden-based black metal band Blodskut. Featuring a few scene veterans, Blodskut’s first offering is a rather punishing affair, yet the band displays a certain maturity and intrepid nature in their sound. While it would be easy to just call them a black metal band and leave it at that, as Forgotten Remains is clearly a tremolo-laden piece of second wave influenced black metal, the band has a penchant for constantly shifting tempos and changing things up at the drop of a hat. Amazingly, Blodskut is able to weave a consistent and highly convincing sound through the slithering songwriting.

After a short introduction, the band starts dispensing artillery with abandon. Fiery tremolo riffing with pummeling, near-inhuman drumming and vicious, throat grated screams leads the charge, though short, picked minor key segments and breezy atmospheric-tinged movements creep around every corner. It’s constantly evolving, although it consistently returns to acerbic black metal like clockwork. While a lot of their sound is derived from second wave black metal, some modernistic tendencies shine throughout; be it the climbing soloing and rhythmic Abbath-esque riffing during “Contra”or the chugging riffs and machine gun drumming that begin “Masked Souls”. This all combines to create a highly diverse, yet extremely cohesive sound that, despite borrowing heavily from the scene, crafts their own distinct sound.

Forgotten Remains is pretty striking for a debut. It boasts a solid production that allows everything to shine nicely while keeping the music sounding vicious and blackened. The band’s take on somewhat modern black metal mixed with atmospheric moments calls to mind a bit of mid-period Enslaved at times, though the band keeps things moving enough to bear only a passing resemblance to other acts. Despite the intensity and general heaviness of the album, it’s quite accessible and could probably score the band a fairly wide audience (as far as this type of black metal goes, that is). Constantly shifting gears and presenting a well thought out approach to their songwriting, Blodskut’s Forgotten Remains would likely have scored a high mark on my year end list, had I gotten to it in time. Regardless, this is a pretty monstrous debut and one that you should go find now.

Written for The Metal Observer.