Forgotten Tomb specialise in negatively-charged Black Metal with a healthy amount of Doom influence thrown in. I’ve always found their work to be highly engaging and have always viewed them as sounding akin to what Paradise Lost might have ended up like had they discovered and embraced Black Metal early on.
Like Paradise Lost, Forgotten Tomb have a good ear for the melodies. They twist, turn and wind their way through the songs with an emotive passion that brings these seven tracks alive with a rich despondency. The melodic leads may form a central point of focus, but the rest of the music rallies around it effectively too.
Having said all that though, Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love has a bit more bite than previous releases; not that they’ve lacked for this in the past, it’s just that this latest release has more of a vicious snarl to it than some of their other work.
They haven’t turned into Anaal Nathrakh, of course, and the depressive element of their sound is still their major driving force; but there’s an increased aggressive side to the band on this release. It’s as if they’re no longer content to merely be vessels for the misery and they’re now wanting to take a more active role in its propagation.
The music has a professional recording and is nicely heavy. The guitars have a very satisfying tone and the vocals are sounding as good as ever, maybe even a little more evil than normal.
Forgotten Tomb have mastered the art of sounding catchy without drifting too far into commercial-sounding waters. They’re a band who, after so long, know exactly how to write a good song, and Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love is full of them.
This is an extremely strong album that demonstrates how to write Depressive Black Metal with enough kick and personality to truly engage and connect with the listener. Bleakly wonderful.