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Fördärv - Between The Eternities

Between The Eternities
by Erika Kuenstler at 20 September 2014, 9:39 AM

Formed just two years ago, mysterious Swedish Black Metal duo FÖRDÄRV have been busy. With the well-received release of their first EP last year, this year saw the unveiling of their debut full-length effort “Between the Eternities”. The album artwork comes from renowned Polish artist, Zdzisław Beksiński, and is simply hauntingly beautiful: a fog-shrouded figure in a cowl stands on a small boat that moves across murky black water. This reminds me of Charon the ferryman who carries the dead to Haydes across the Styx River in Greek mythology. This ties in well with the album itself, which revolves around concepts of death and the tedium of life.

This is a new take on the well-trodden path of the Second Wave of Black Metal, where most musical directions have been explored to the very maximum. In other words, don’t expect a revolutionary new approach to the genre. However, it doesn’t have to be ground-breaking in order to be good. With three longer tracks interspersed with three shorter ones, FÖRDÄRV go straight for the jugular with “Between the Eternities”. Seeping with the primordial sounds of Scandinavian Black Metal circa the mid ‘90s, this new opus is harsh and unforgiving.

Starting off “Legions of Death” with the buzzing of a swarm of insects, a haunting melody creeps in before blossoming into a frenzy of pure Black Metal, complete with a maelstrom of drum beats, cold, flat, and furious guitar riffs, and dead screams of hatred. Interspersing the more frantic moments with slower and more melodic moments, the dynamics of this song are great. My personal favourite track on the album is “Taedium Vitae”, which perfectly captures the dead despondency and drudge of daily life. Cold and cutting, this track goes straight to the bone, and is easily on par with the works of the masters of the ‘90s. “Darkness of the Eternal Winter” is also an outstanding track: faster-paced and icy, this song hits you like a blizzard of frozen razor blades. Rolling drums build up the pressure like thunder auguring an ominous storm, before a vortex of riffs swallows your soul and drags you through desolate soundscapes tinged with nightmarish fever. With a more epic sounding intro to the final track “As Life Turns Black…” an almost exuberant riff counters the despair of the previous songs. This explodes into searing passages of sheer aggression which in turn are tempered by more ambient sections that really bring the melodic components of the song to life. As the final salvo dies away, you find yourself pressing repeat before you’re even aware of what you’re doing: it’s simply irresistible!

Overall, this is album is a refreshing blast from the past. The recording quality is clear enough without compromising any of its fuzzy rawness, the compositions themselves are varied and well thought out, and the prowess of the musicians is clearly audible. There are a few jarring moments where some of the guitar-work doesn’t fit in seamlessly, and the drums are somewhat unclear in certain sections, but these are kinks which I am sure will be worked out over time. With the initial pressing of “Between the Eternities” limited to just 500 copies, I’m sure this will become quite a rarity in future years. One thing is certain, if you’re into your older strains of Black Metal, you have to give FÖRDÄRV a listen: they will blow you away!

4 Star Rating

1. Legions of Death
2. Taedium Vitae
3. Putre Factio
4. Darkness of the Eternal Winter
5. Embracing the Endless
6. As Life Turns Black…
Gast – Drums, Vocals
En – Guitars, Bass
Record Label: Nigredo Records


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Edited 31 May 2023

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