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Fornace - Deep Melancholic Wrath

Deep Melancholic Wrath
by Robert Amer at 26 January 2019, 11:21 PM

Black Metal has possibly taken on the most evolutionary adaptations of all of the sub-genres in Metal, from its beginnings with VENOM’S “Black Metal,” through the golden era of Norwegian Black Metal with pioneers such as MAYHEM, EMPEROR, and DARKTHRONE, to the recent infusion of more post-rock influences incorporated by DEAFHEAVEN and ALCEST—not to mention the regional resurgences in Iceland and France. The rawness of the sub-genre’s origins has an expressive appeal that has carried it through the decades and has inspired these subtle shifts in stylistic approach. FORNACE continues a musical journey down this path in its third full-length release, “Deep Melancholic Wrath”.

The Italian ensemble has certainly created a unique brand of epic, Melodic Black Metal. There are moments of satisfying melodic depth, but a majority of the album presents repetitive riffs that seem to stagnate more than guide the music towards a type of climax or goal. This can be intentional, though there is still a lack of differentiation between tracks. This can be a pitfall for artists who write longer songs. Aside from the short and deceiving instrumental intro track that sounds as if it could be taken from the demo of a Pop-Punk band with its four-chord themes, though there is some foreshadowing of melancholic tinting in some of the sections, the five Black Metal songs average at over eleven minutes.

Overall, the music is very agreeable to the ear. Most riffs have tremolo guitars emitting emotional and pensive harmonies that seem fitting for a quest through the Alps. There is some variance in texture in each song, going from heavy to exposed and vice versa, but the transitions in and out of these textural shifts are executed in ways that lack either an attention-grabbing quality or a novel seamlessness, both of which aid in making a song memorable. When one is messing around, vocally emulating part of a Metal song with friends, it is usually these transitions or abrupt shifts that give the most satisfaction, whether it be METALLICA, EMPEROR, CANNIBAL CORPSE, PANTERA, BLIND GUARDIAN, etc.  As a result, the sections of each song tend to bleed together sonically.

There are a few songs that contain some attention-grabbing musical variation. “Bare Emotions” contains a reflective passage in which the spoken Italian vocals create a novel effect over an established theme which expands into a fuller texture when more distortion is added to the guitars along with a terraced increase of emphatic drums, and towards the end of this textural shift some effective, weeping bass licks prepare a satisfying transition into the next section. “La Notte Dei Morti” also features the bass in a break that continues to build amidst swelling ambient dissonance, creating a palpably chilling effect, though the transition out of this section is abrupt considering such a build up. “Her Beauty in Those Days” presents a very eclectic riff early on somewhere between Black Metal, Power Metal, and Post-Rock, that contrasts harmoniously with the parts surrounding it. And most notably, there is a galvanizing mid-tempo section towards the end of “Under the Bright Cursed Star” in which the lead guitar plays a majestic melody before prompting another break into a brutiful tremolo frenzy with screams before the lead guitar takes over again, seemingly calling out to this star before the song fades away, in what is perhaps the most memorable moment on the album.

Again, “Deep Melancholic Wrath” is a very listenable epic, melodic Black Metal album. Extremes and exceptional execution are requirements to be noticed in the deep pool of talent that is the international Black Metal scene. FORNACE has secured an extreme in its brand of epic, Black Metal but could use more well executed sections as mentioned in the preceding paragraph for more differentiation in its songs. There are flashes of potential in the band’s third album, and it is an agreeable listen, but it does not particularly entice the listener to come back for more.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Experience the Joy of Unhappiness
2. Bare Emotions
3. La Notte Dei Morti
4. Everlasting Flame
5. Under the Bright Cursed Star
6. Her Beauty in Those Days
Sadomaster - Guitars
Possessed - Vocals, Bass
Mastiff - Guitars
Record Label: Paragon Records


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