I like music like this; some of my favourite albums are those where it sounds as if the band are taking the listener on a journey, and Forlorn is very much a release like this.
Seedna play atmospheric black metal that’s big on emotional content and everything they do registers with this aim in some way. There are faster sections that emphasise the vibrant darkness of life; slower, doom-influenced workouts that wring out every last drop of despondent misery from the listener; and calmer, introspective moments where the band seem to catch their collective breaths, reflecting on what has gone before and what is yet to come.
Each track has its place and works its magic in specific ways, whether it’s a 22 minute behemoth like Wander, or a short outro like O. Everything has a place.
Alongside the aforementioned doom influences, there are some doom/death riffs and progressive black metal moments; there’s a lot of different aspects to their sound and even the playing time of 62 minutes can barely contain them all. Again; this is about the journey, and Seedna allow themselves the freedom to create the space required to explore their soundscapes.
I like that they include and develop elements of progressive, almost post-rock, elements alongside their heavier delivery. This adds another layer of depth to their music, once again allowing them to see through their various ideas to fruition. Large parts of this album are calm, reflective and focused on ambience rather than heaviness. this merely enhances the overall experience of listening to Forlorn, and again, reinforces the idea of the album as a journey, an exploration of sorts.
The overall feeling is one of misery and loss being explored from multiple angles, with the band unwilling to let any avenue remain unexplored if it could possibly aid in the listener’s experience of their emotive music.
The vocalist spends most of his time issuing forth dark screams, pouring out his seeming pain into an uncaring universe. Although he has a central role to play on the album, and it would definitely be worse off without him, it’s the comprehensive emotional tapestry of the music that’s the real star here, which is why these songs can easily get away without vocals for large stretches of time.
This is definitely an album to explore over time; it’s a grower that gives up its secrets slowly, and like the best of albums of this ilk, it does not do so lightly.
Seedna have produced an album that will easily stand the test of time, I feel. For atmospheric, emotive black metal that definitely has its own personality, this is right up there with the best of them.