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A repetitive and monotonous blackgaze debut - 60%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, October 10th, 2018

The first EP from Iranian atmospheric blackgaze band Forelunar, "Wine and the Limerent", is a well-crafted work of melancholy dreamscapes of romance and tragedy. As with related projects of sole member Harpag Karnik (Erancnoir, Etheraldine), Forelunar takes its inspiration from poetry. Two tracks feature on this EP: to be honest, I find them so much the same in their structure - even their keyboard melodies are the same! - that they could have been one long 20-minute track of dark nostalgic immersion. The noisy tremolo guitars grind away relentlessly, cold keyboard tones go dong-dong in the background and a rasping vocal heavily cloaked in frosty reverb moans lyrics of unattainable romance amid scenes of a garden paradise with streams of lightly bubbling wine. The drum machine has a light flippy touch. As on other releases by Karnik (I've managed to hear a few), the production on this recording is a bit bleached and sub-par.

While both tracks are very well made, I confess to finding the lyrics and the music at odds with each other: while it's Karnik's choice as to what musical style and production best fit the lyrics, the music is much too cold to express the sorrow and regret within the lyrics. What should be sadness becomes absolute despair and hopelessness, and any regret or longing within the lyrics is swamped by the dark bleakness produced by the churning chainsaw guitars and the hard dinging synth tones. The music might have benefited from the inclusion of clean gentle acoustic guitar or lute melodies that would have extended its emotional range. As it is, the entire recording is very repetitive and monotonous.

I'm sure I'm not the only person puzzled as to why Karnik is running three solo projects featuring overlapping styles of fusion BM / post-BM / blackgaze. He runs the risk of spreading himself very thin across all three - plus he is a member of a number of other acts with other people! I really believe he would be far better off combining his BM-based projects into the one project to explore his favoured themes and musical ideas.